Announced back at E3 2013, The Division is one of Ubisoft’s most highly anticipated titles. The game is an MMO like expeirnece that takes place in New York City after an illness has swept the city during the holiday shopping season. As part of a team called ‘The Division’, players must help to restore order by retaking bases, fighting against enemy factions, and sometimes by fighting against one another.
Unfortunately, players have been forced to wait to get their hands on this urban sandbox after Ubisoft delayed The Division from ‘late 2014’ until sometime in 2015. At the time, the publisher didn’t provide any specifics about the cause of the delay and only said that they “don’t want to compromise on quality”. Not wanting to play a broken game, players respected the decision, but it was still disappointing as so many other games had recently been delayed too.
Now that 2015 has come, many fans are excited to finally be able to play the game, with another showing of The Division expected at E3 in June. However, in their latest financial call Ubisoft has announced that The Division is being pushed back even further. The game will instead release in the fourth quarter of their 2016 financial year, which puts the release date sometime between January 1 and March 31, 2016.
While Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has said that “it is never an easy decision to move a launch date”, some are questioning just how long the publisher has known that The Division would not be ready in time for 2015. Two months ago Ubisoft confirmed that The Division would be out this year but last year, a developer who claimed to have worked on The Division stated that the 2015 release date was “a tad bit optimistic”.
The developer suggested that they didn’t have a “functioning game” and that there were massive issues with the game’s multiplayer, even at a concept stage. Given that multiplayer is at the core of The Division‘s gameplay, it makes sense why Ubisoft would want to push the game back again and make sure that it’s ready for release.
Additionally, the developer said that the team had been given “increased resources” and were being given “a lot of help from other Ubisoft teams”. Ubisoft recently announced that Ubisoft Annecy would be helping with development duties, joining lead dev Massive Entertainment along with Ubisoft Reflections and Red Storm. When The Division was first announced, only Massive was working on the game so clearly something has changed to the point where they now need extra help.
Whatever the reason for this delay, players will hope that The Division avoids the same fate as Assassin’s Creed Unity, a Ubisoft title now infamous for its launch issues. Ubisoft is reportedly planning an alpha test for the game, however, so perhaps players will be able to test it before next year.
The Division will be released on PC, PS4 and Xbox One in early 2016.