For an MMORPG like Guild Wars 2, getting the game launched is just a small fraction of its development. The team needs not only to keep developing new content as time goes by, but also to be able to address bugs, security concerns, and balance in existing content as the game evolves.
So how does it work? ArenaNet's Colin Johanson took to the game's blog to explain that it isn't just one "dev team" working on Guild Wars 2 after launch, but rather eight different sets of folks, each with a singular focus.
The Live Response team handles bugs, feedback, and balance, while Live Security deals with bots, spammers, and account thefts. Commerce tackles the economy and the Black Lion Trading Company. Living World adds content, as does the Holidays and Events team. Yet another group is dedicated to PvP and eSports, building out Guild Wars 2 into a competitive game. One team is working solely on performance and the Mac client. And that leaves "Bonus Teams," who work on mysterious projects that don't fit into the above.
Guild Wars 2 is not alone among MMORPGs in needing massive support for all the years that come after launch. But it's neat to get a quick glimpse into what makes a game go.
Colin Johanson Outlines Guild Wars 2 Live Game Development [Guild Wars 2 official site]