Why Was The Division Delayed Into 2016?
Last night, Ubisoft confirmed that Tom Clancy’s The Division would be delayed on Xbox One, PS4 & PC into 2016.
That’s the second major delay for the tactical third-person shooter, it was originally scheduled for release in 2014.
So, what’s going on at developer Massive Entertainment? It only recently that Ubisoft announced its Reflections studio had been shifted onto the project to assist with on-going development, but made no mention of a delay then.
A statement released during the earnings call last night makes some hints, though we’ve reached out to Ubisoft for more definitive reasoning.
“We have decided to release the game on Xbox One, PS4 and PC during the first quarter of calendar year 2016,” the developer wrote on the game’s website. “All of us at Massive, Reflections, Red Storm Entertainment and Ubisoft Annecy want to ensure the game not only meets our high expectations but also those of our fans and players alike. We are proud of what we have achieved so far and can’t wait to show you more next month at E3!”
The Division is now targeting release during the fourth quarter of Ubisoft’s financial year – which runs from 1 January 2016 to 31 March 2016. Though it will, strangely enough, appear at E3 2015 next month.
During the earnings call, Ubisoft’s CEO Yves Guillemot suggested that the delay is due to The Division’s interesting competitive and co-operative online components – which, as many of you will no doubt be aware, have barely been mentioned since the reveal two years ago.
“[The Division] is an RPG online game. Those games take more time to be completed and we want to make sure we have enough feedback from consumers from alpha and betas to polish it as much as possible before the launch so that it comes to the market with the best experience possible.”
Ubisoft has yet to officially confirm or deny any planned public alpha or beta tests. An Xbox One alpha has been rumoured for some time, though many believed it was going to begin in March, which is long behind us now.
It could simply be that Ubisoft is eager to avoid the launch problems that plagued the likes of Watch Dogs, Assassin’s Creed: Unity and The Crew. Balance, bug fixing and polish is going to be integral for the publisher in 2015 and beyond.
In a statement delivered to Videogamer, the publisher went on to say it had given “additional time to our developers to fully fulfil their creative vision,” adding “This decision proved right on WD [Watch Dogs] which clearly outperformed the targets we had set up for its original FY14 launch more than compensating for the extra development costs incurred.”
For now, Ubisoft seems convinced The Division will make its early 2016 release window for Xbox One and other formats. Whether it can match the hype it has generated, not to mention deliver the insane graphical fidelity the trailers have promised, is another question entirely. All eyes on E3 2015 then.