I didn't think that #GW2 _needed_ an expansion but what it really didn't need was to announce one then do... this.In my opinion, this is the big danger of announcing an expansion too early. You generate an initial interest spike but as it becomes clear you aren't about to deliver that interest will dwindle. I don't think it matters how clever you think your PR is, I just don't think you can sustain interest, especially when it comes to existing players who have nothing to enjoy in the meantime.
— Dibs (@dibstaru) March 30, 2015
As the time between the announcement of Heart of Thorns and its release grows I feel vindicated in my opinion regarding what ArenaNet were doing. I still believe that the China release was all hands on deck until that was put to bed (May 15 2014). I think the expansion work started up around the Season 2 mid-season break (August 2014), with the intention that assets would become free to work on HoT full time once Season 2 wrapped up. HoT was announced 11 days after the final part of Season 2 released. That would mean an August 2015 release gives them a year development time. I think that adds up.