ArenaNet has been busy, personnel-wise, in recent days. Coming back to the company is designer Matthew Medina, who announced his return Friday evening as a “senior content designer.” Ostensibly, he’ll be working on the probably-Cantha-themed expansion that was officially announced last week.
Leaving the company in recent weeks was VP of Global Marketing Mike Silbowitz, who departed ArenaNet to work for Wargaming. Silbowitz was the target of criticism by many in the Guild Wars 2 community who took issue with how the game was marketed over the past couple of years. It reached a peak during the “poncho incident,” which saw him come on stage at PAX Prime 2019 wearing a poncho to announce various GW2 merchandise tie-ins.
Here’s where things get bizarre. As MassivelyOP found out last Friday, there was apparently an account on Reddit, going by the name “caithe82,” that defended Silbowitz and ArenaNet to the extreme, insulting and ridiculing other Redditors for their criticism. Even weirder, the account claimed that “MikeZ,” a.k.a. GW2 Game Director Mike Zadorojny, hadn’t been with the company for several months, being replaced in the role by John Taylor. Zadorojny’s last official communication with the GW2 fan base would have been when he announced that ArenaNet co-founder Mike O’Brien was leaving the company last October. MassivelyOP has since confirmed Zadorojny’s departure via an unnamed, though presumably ArenaNet source, though there’s been no official word from the company on his departure.
That still leaves the question of who’s behind the caithe82 account, which was deleted as soon as the news went live on Friday and is suspected to be a “sock puppet” account of an ArenaNet employee — both for its stalwart defense of the company and its insider knowledge regarding Zadrojny’s departure. (For what it’s worth, I don’t think it’s Silbowitz behind the account, because it does agree that “The poncho sucked.”) We’ll update you when we learn more about these unusual events.