Ubisoft announces that servers for Tom Clancy’s The Division won’t be turned on until March 8th, meaning that there will be no pre-release reviews for the game.
For many gamers, one of the major factors they consider before deciding to purchase a new game is how well that game fared with critics. Some trust the opinion of specific publications, whereas others like to check review aggregate websites like GameRankings and Metacritic to help inform their purchasing decisions as consumers. Sadly for those that rely on review scores, Tom Clancy’s The Division will not have any pre-release reviews.
Ubisoft confirmed as much earlier today, stating that servers for Tom Clancy’s The Division will not be turned on until March 8th at midnight – Australian Eastern Daylight Time. This means that even though Ubisoft will still likely provide gaming publications with review copies of The Division, they won’t actually be able to play the game until the general public is able to do so as well.
Ubisoft has justified this decision by saying it would be impossible for the company to adequately populate the servers for reviewers. In some ways, this reasoning does make sense, as reviewers likely wouldn’t be able to fully appreciate The Division‘s PvP Dark Zone areas without the benefit of heavily populated servers.
On the flip side of that, however, there is plenty of content in The Division that reviewers could experience efficiently before release. For example, The Division has numerous story missions that reviewers could complete ahead of launch, and then wait to review the Dark Zone until the area is sufficiently populated by the general public. By keeping reviewers out of the game entirely until March 8th, Ubisoft is effectively delaying reviews for The Division for a number of days.
Some may take this decision by Ubisoft to mean that the company lacks faith in how The Division will perform critically. However, that is likely not the case. A common trend over the past few years for games with significant online components has been for gaming publications to delay their reviews to account for potential server issues, so it’s likely that a lot of websites and magazines wouldn’t have had any pre-release Division reviews ready to go anyway.
And it’s not as if Ubisoft has been keeping The Division‘s features a big secret. The company has been upfront about The Division‘s map size, and what the gameplay will generally entail (except it has yet to confirm or deny if The Division will have raids). Furthermore, Ubisoft has given players numerous opportunities to try The Division before launch in the form of closed and open betas, so many have already had a taste of what it has to offer.
Overall, those looking forward to The Division shouldn’t take this decision by Ubisoft as a bad omen. Reviews for the game may come later than expected, but people are still free to simply wait to see how The Division fares in the eyes of the public and professional critics before buying it.
Tom Clancy’s The Division will be available on March 8th for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.