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    2022.11.18 Culture & Values

    〈Guild Wars 2〉 Introduces a New Character Based on a Real Child

    ArenaNet, NCSOFT’s American subsidiary, participated in ‘Extra Life’ for the 6th year in a row on November 4-5, and raised approximately $123,600. Over 3,000 teams participated in Extra Life 2022, with Team ArenaNet being among the top three. During the 24-hour livestream, ArenaNet took part in interesting challenges and introduced an in-game event with a new non-playable character modelled after a special child.

    ‘Extra Life,’ a Charity Streaming Event to Change Kids’ Health

    ‘Extra Life’ is an annual 24-hour streaming event, organized in support of Children’s Miracle Network. This network consists of 170 nonprofit children’s hospitals operating across the United States and Canada. The event helps raise funds for critically ill and injured children whose healthcare costs are not covered by their health insurance. Donations also help hospitals purchase necessary medical equipment and fund research for various diseases.


    During Extra Life's 2022 Game Day, ArenaNet played 〈Guild Wars 2〉 and held various in-game and out-of-game events. Among these events was the traditional yearly head shaving event–a few participants even shaved off their eyebrows as a donation incentive. The livestream also featured early developmental sketches from <Guild Wars 2> ‘End of Dragons’ which were presented by the development team. ArenaNet’s development team also interacted with viewers by participating in a Q&A session, where for every $50 donated, they would answer one question in Twitch chat.

    ArenaNet’s staff after shaving their heads and eyebrows at significant donation milestones

    ArenaNet’s staff playing Guild Wars 2 and spinning the Mystery Wheel upon reaching donation milestones

    ArenaNet’s staff wearing three costume items each after spinning the Mystery Wheel

    April’s In-game Character Brings the Gaming Community Together

    This year, ArenaNet worked with Children's Miracle Network to honor one of their patients by creating an in-game version of her. Early in 2022, ArenaNet’s development team came up with the idea of adding something special to 〈Guild Wars 2〉. They proposed creating a puzzle or a scavenger hunt, and would reveal clues to solving the puzzle during the Extra Life Game Day. While the event was being designed, the final name and look of one of the characters in the event was still undecided. As the non-playable character was planned to be a child or teenager, ArenaNet’s staff suggested modelling it after a real-world patient. They spoke to Children’s Miracle Network, and that’s how they met April.

    April Arellano is a young girl who underwent an amputation of one of her legs at the age of 15 months due to a severe illness. ArenaNet’s development team consulted with April and her parents to bring her appearance and personality to life in 〈Guild Wars 2〉, including a Jade Tech version of her prosthetic leg.

    April, an aspiring mesmer born and raised in the small village of Garenhoff

    〈Guild Wars 2〉’s April was born in the small village of Garenhoff just outside of Divinity’s Reach, one of main cities in the world of 〈Guild Wars 2〉. April’s character is described as a serial meddler and known as April the Mesmer1 Wunderkind.

    1 Mesmers are magical duelists who use powerful illusions, clones, and phantasmal magic to deceive their enemies.

    ‘Someone in Need,’ Scavenger Hunt Helps Raise Funds for Charity

    There are two core non-playable characters in the scavenger hunt event: April, who stole books from a secretive organization of mesmers; and Zinnia,a sylvari mesmer who wants the stolen books back because they contain important secrets. Players are challenged by April and must solve her witty riddles. Only by solving the riddles can they retrieve the six stolen books and complete the event.

    April and Zinnia, key non-playable characters in the scavenger hunt

    During the Extra Life livestream, players received hints at donation milestones to make the hunt easier. Thus, after a certain amount of donations pledged during the 24-hour livestream, players were granted additional hints that directed them through the scavenger hunt event. ArenaNet gave away 7 hints in total, offering assistance to players while raising funds during the event. Since April is a permanent character in 〈Guild Wars 2〉, those who haven’t played the update yet still have the opportunity to meet April. To do so, they must find Zinnia hidden in Lion’s Arch and accept her request. ArenaNet also released the 2022 Extra Life Donation Bundle; the proceeds from this bundle will go to Children's Miracle Network hospitals.


    ArenaNet’s development team commented on the update saying, “Working with April and getting to see her excitement at being a character in a video game was a wonderful experience. We spent a lot of time working together with the real April and her parents to nail down aspects of her design, and we are extremely proud of the result. We believe in the power of April’s character in the way that it touches our players and that it could send positive messages to all of the children that are like April.”

    ArenaNet Makes a Difference Differently Every Year

    Participating in Extra Life since 2017, ArenaNet sets a new goal every year and tries to achieve it by partaking in interesting challenges. Last year, the team was able to raise over $100,000 in 24 hours, and this year they topped that number, reaching $123,600 by the end of the livestream. The partnership with the Children’s Miracle Network this year was stronger than ever with the special in-game event and a character modelled after April, which brought deeper meaning to 〈Guild Wars 2〉 and the gaming community.