Ubisoft, facing “unprecedented demand,” is extending The Division‘s weekend beta by 24 hours to provide playing time for the latest round of invited players.
To say that Ubisoft’s ongoing closed beta for their upcoming online multiplayer shooter The Division has been popular would be a dramatic understatement. Today is the final day of the 3-day, or 4-day for Xbox players, beta yet Ubisoft has only today sent out the final allotment of beta invites to those with guaranteed access from pre-ordering. Recognizing that many of their beta players may not have fully experienced The Division, they’ve decided to do the right thing; they’ve extended the beta by 24 hours.
Yes, The Division‘s beta has officially been extended 24 hours, meaning that it will now end on Tuesday, February 2, at 3AM PT. Not only will this extra window allow those with guaranteed access who were invited late to play a good amount, but also it will let Ubisoft invite a good amount of players who did not have guaranteed access too. Priority for those additional invites will go to those who signed up first, so it’s unlikely that anyone hoping to sneak in last minute will have the opportunity.
Players will get to experience the introduction to The Division‘s post-apocalyptic New York in this weekend’s beta. It features just a slice of the overall map that’s included in the game, but is well cut to include a sampling of The Division‘s major mechanics and systems. That includes the first few major campaign missions, unlocking the player’s base of operations and its upgradable wings, a section of the Dark Zone PvP area, character leveling and progression, and of course loot, loot, and more loot.
Why would Ubisoft decide to extend the beta now? The question on everyone’s minds is why would Ubisoft prevent so many players from accessing the beta early on, only to extend the beta now that more players than ever are in-game.
Ubisoft could have upgraded The Division‘s server infrastructure overnight, which is unlikely. They could be seeing a large amount of players no longer playing, having consumed the beta and departed. What seems most likely is that Ubisoft was simply being overly careful in the extreme. They limited player access until they were confident everything was running smoothly and now are opening up the gates.
And with that beta on their shoulders, Ubisoft is likely looking at a hugely successful launch for The Division on March 8. With the pervasive comparison to Destiny and the current growing disappointment with Bungie’s lack of communication, The Division has the potential to steal a solid foundation of online game players. Yet conversely The Division has shown some weaknesses, as it’s lacking the ambition of Bungie’s epic space shooter and the beta hasn’t sold the important Dark Zone PvP area.
The Division releases on March 8 on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The closed beta, which started Friday for Xbox One players and Saturday for everyone else, will end on Tuesday, February 2 at 3:00AM PT after a 24 hour extension.