James Phinney is the Design Director of ArenaNet. He was the Lead Designer for Guild Wars. Prior to joining ArenaNet, he worked on such titles as Sacrifice, Diablo, Warcraft II, and StarCraft, for which he was both Lead Designer and Producer. In 2007, he was named one of the Top 20 Most Influential People in the MMO Industry by Beckett Massive Online Gamer magazine.
— ArenaNet blog
James Phinney was the Game Design Team Lead for Guild Wars and the Game Design Team Lead for Guild Wars 2 until 2009. He started as a programmer at Chaos Studios, which later became Blizzard Entertainment. He worked on Warcraft II and Diablo, then as lead designer and producer on StarCraft. James also wrote the story and dialogue for Shiny Entertainment's Sacrifice.
- Imagining Guild Wars 2, an article about Guild Wars 2 by James Phinney.
- Mike O'Brien on James' departure from ArenaNet
- James Phinney on leaving ArenaNet and joining Undead Labs