Guild Wars 2 devs reveal “turning point” that made Living World Season 1 return possible

Lauren Bergin
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Resurrecting Guild Wars 2 Living World Season 1 seemed like an impossible task to both ArenaNet and the GW2 community alike, but the devs have revealed how the project came to be and, in turn, why it’s releasing alongside End of Dragons.

Guild Wars 2 players across the magical realm of Tyria have long-since dreamed of Living World Season 1’s reprise, aching to dive into Scarlet’s War all over again.

First appearing back in 2013 and concluding in 2014, this iconic chapter in the game’s extensive history has been left in the shadows, banished to the annals of history due to concerns that re-releasing it wouldn’t quite have the same effect as playing it during its debut.

With the release of End of Dragons, though, ArenaNet have brought the classic saga back for free, allowing players old and new to dive back into the struggle to bring down Scarlet’s Alliance. Chatting to Dexerto about the new (yet somewhat familiar) season, Joe Kimmes, Living World Season 1 Team Lead, discusses the background machinations that brought this age-old story back to life.

guild wars 2 living world season 1 scarlet's war
Scarlet’s War marks a pivotal point in Guild Wars 2’s history, and we’ll finally get to play it all over again.

Guild Wars 2 Living World Season 1 returns

A lot has changed in the gaming universe since Living World Season 1’s dramatic launch in 2013, casting a shadow of doubt over whether or not reimplementing it would be possible.

“For a long time, there’s been doubt that Season 1 could be brought back – the original releases were built as live events with limited durations and time-based updates, and there was a belief even internally that key pieces might have been lost to time,” Kimmes told Dexerto.

“One turning point was the Visions of the Past missions during Season 5, which proved that at least some of the shelved missions could be brought back. A similar triumph was the return of the Twisted Marionette after the end of Season 5 – that was a large-scale event in the open world, and if it could be brought back, the rest of Season 1 seemed like it had to be possible.

“The work on End of Dragons had the studio focused on that, but in the leadup to it we knew that there would be a space for something to follow it, and a project to fully revive Season 1 came about as a result of that planning.”

guild wars 2 twisted marionette boss
The return of the fearsome Twisted Marionette was the catalyst ArenaNet needed.

Scarlet’s reappearance in End of Dragons also prompted the revival of Season 1 in order to help players tie the narrative together.

“Mai Trin and Scarlet’s role in End of Dragons was actually taking shape well before the Season 1 restoration project, but it was a provident connection. A huge part of the impetus for bringing Season 1 back is to make sure all players have the chance to play the full story in order and share the experience of seeing characters reappearing from earlier chapters.”

As Living World Season 1 helps weave together the lore that makes Guild Wars 2 so great, players from across Tyria will likely be diving back into the fray to experience the rise and fall of Scarlet all over again.

With Episode 2 releasing on May 24, we can’t wait to see how ArenaNet have breathed new life into Living World Season 1.

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