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Guild Wars 2's ad for Super Adventure Box spawns its own retro side-scroller

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

ArenaNet has turned a video game gag featured in an ad for Guild Wars 2 into a playable game. Rytlock's Critter Rampage, featured in a faux retro commercial for the MMO's Super Adventure Box content, is now available for free.

On the Guild Wars 2 website, Matthew Oswald of ArenaNet's cinematics team, explained how the 16-bit-style side-scroller came about.

"Originally, we just wanted to build out a couple sprites to fake the game in After Effects," Oswald wrote, "but one of the cinematic artists on my team (Delly Sartika) has long harbored an interest in building his own retro platformer, so he volunteered to build out a playable version of our totally fake game."

The commercial for Super Adventure Box was released just prior to April 1 to promote an April Fools' Day gag that turned into a month-long content addition for Guild Wars 2.

"The version that you see in the commercial was just the first draft," Oswald explained. "It took Delly about three weeks of work to flesh out the final version."

Rytlock's Critter Rampage is playable at the Guild Wars 2 website. Oswald recommends playing on easy "unless you are a wizard."