The company plans to give as many fans as possible the chance to try out the game before launch.
'Guild Wars' was one of those games that seemed to do alright for itself despite coming out in a post 'World of Warcraft' environment. It was different enough to develop its own audience and survive on those merits. A sequel has been talked about for some time now, but it seems 2012 will be the year it hits.
Mike O'Brien, says that this announcement comes on the first day of the Year of the Dragon. "It’s an auspicious omen for all of us at ArenaNet," he says. "According to tradition, the dragon embodies passion, independence, and ambition. We think it’s a perfect analogy for what we’re trying to accomplish with Guild Wars 2."
O'Brien says that in February, press members will be invited to a closed beta test. "In March and April we’ll aggressively ramp up the size of our beta test events so that many of you will have a chance to participate."
Source: ArenaNet Blog