The latest patch releases from Tom Clancy's The Division have had a positive effect on its player numbers, successfully drawing players back to the post-apocalyptic shooter.
It's difficult to pinpoint exactly what soured gamers on The Division after it launched earlier this year. The Division's initial release period was filled with positivity as gamers praised the open-world gameplay and combat, but conversation about the game quickly became negative when it came to The Division's end-game content, which many considered shallow and unfulfilling. Between that and some infamous mission glitches that circumvented many of the game's most difficult content, The Division's playerbase began to dwindle as gamers moved back to titles like Destiny.
That trend might be coming to an end, however. The Division's new updates have enacted a lot of the changes players wanted to see post-launch, and Ubisoft's stubborn refusal to give up on a game that showed so much initial promise may finally be paying off. According to Ubisoft, the number of daily active players in The Division has returned to what the game had at launch, which suggests that the newest content is succeeding in enticing a lot of players back for another go. Ubisoft's VP of live operations, Anne Blondel, explained:
"Some players left the game earlier than we thought, then we had to make a tough call...do we stop everything for a while, settle down, fix everything, and then once the game is where it should be, then we start providing more content? And this is what we did [and] the community was super happy about it."
Although fixing a game before releasing more DLC seems like an obvious strategy, it's important to remember that in doing so, Ubisoft sacrificed a lot of its initial scheduling for The Division, pushing back a lot of DLC releases in favor of focusing on the main game. That risked upsetting what was left of the game's daily playerbase, but luckily for Ubisoft the gamble paid off and The Division's latest paid expansion, Survival, has released to a largely positive response.
If there's a lot of positive chatter surrounding The Division lately, it's serendipitous timing for Ubisoft. A number of Black Friday sales placed The Division on offer for a heavy discount, which could incentivize even more gamers to give the game a chance and become enamored with the new-and-improved version that Ubisoft has managed to put together.
Regardless of whether The Division wins over a number of new players, the fact that Ubisoft has managed to navigate what appeared to be a sinking ship back towards a healthy daily playerbase is a remarkable achievement. In an industry where games that don't live up to the hype can be quickly and brutally forgotten, Ubisoft has managed to resurrect The Division from a near-certain death, and future DLC releases may make it a competitor to titles like Destiny yet.
The Division is available now for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.