Here’s When, Exactly, The Division Comes Out

Even as an old fogey, I’m interested in knowing precisely when The New Hotness will unlock and let me play. This might’ve once been so I could plan a night heavy on caffeine and light on sleep, but now it’s just nice to know if I’ll get to play an hour or create my character before I take my mint tea to bed.

Pre-loading for the next New Hotness, Tom Clancy’s The Division [official site], starts tomorrow on PC and Ubisoft have explained when they’ll let folks into the virus-trashed New York City around its March 8th launch. Bad news for the UK, I’m afraid.

In a blog post about the launch, Ubisoft explain that folks who’ve pre-ordered digital copies can preload the game from 9am PST tomorrow on Steam and Uplay (see this for when that is in your time zone). Yeah yeah, I know, “never pre-order”, but maybe you were one of the 6.4 million folks who played in the beta and you dug it – I don’t know you, man. And isn’t it nice to know that I have your back even if you do ignore my advice?

Should you somehow manage to receive a physical copy before the game’s official release, servers will actually be live from 12:01am Australian Eastern Daylight time on March 8th – which is on March 7th for most of the world.

If you’ve got it digitally (who even buys discs on PC any more?) on Steam or Uplay, your game won’t unlock until 12:01am EST. If we consult our handy time zone converter again, we see that’s 5:01am GMT for on the 8th for the UK but earlier in the evening of the 7th for more westerly parts of North America.

This forum post from an Ubisoft community manager seems to confirm that no, Europe won’t get a regional midnight digital launch of our own.

Does this make sense? I’ve lost all track of what time and times mean. Is time even real, maaan? What if what I think is time moving forwards is time moving backwards to you, duuude? What if what I think is 7pm looks blue to you? No way of knowing, man, no way of knowing.

Ubi also say you shouldn’t expect reviews at launch – or that anything claiming to be a review is gash. “Since it’s impossible for us to populate the servers in a way that would adequately replicate playing The Division on launch day, reviewers will start playing the game along with everyone else when it’s released,” they say.

Until then, hey, read what Adam thought when he had played a preview build of the real-world shooter RPG, and check out his interview with the creative director too.


  1. Zankman says:

    I have no doubts that this generic game will be very boring and, well, generic.

    I just hope that Ubisoft shit it up as per usual so that people rag on it and quickly move on.

    • OmNomNom says:

      It is a real snooze-fest but it won’t stop the console market lapping it up. Battlefront sold well after all.

    • SyCo_Venom says:

      This is the dumbest comment I have read today with a close 2nd all the ppl crying about a less than a 24 hr wait ppl might have when the servers come live.

      You sound like a self absorbed asshole and a hipster with a man bun. What is so generic about it? Did you even play the beta? You do realize over 6 million people played it in one weekend and it was a 25gig download that u only got to play for about 72 hours. Not that numbers are everything but id say there is something unique there.

      • Imbecile says:

        I played the Beta. On the console. I figured I’d see if I liked it – I liked the premise, but I was put off by the tedious gameplay unfortunately. Lots of positive reviews might sell it to me, but the beta put me off. Its definitely a weaker game than destiny on first impressions, which was a similar game, but with better shooting mechanics and a more interesting look.

      • anHorse says:

        The number of people playing it in no way alters the fact that it was a bland third person mmo with nothing fun about it.

        The number of people who play a beta ONLY indicates how much interest the publisher has drummed up for the game, it says nothing about if the game is good or not ya dingus

      • Zankman says:

        Thanks for the kind words; By which I mean, “fuck off with your baseless insults and judgments”.

        The game is, from all that I have seen, bland and boring in every way. I have not even the slightest desire to play it – the world seems bland and uncreative, the aesthetics (albeit backed by good graphics) are incredibly dull and unimaginative, the gameplay is repetitive and grindy – which is a huge issue, keeping in mind that the base gameplay is good ol’ “chest-high wall simulator” + bullet-spungy enemies (nothing like walking up to a basic grunt, shooting a shotgun into their face… And them not dying).

        Then you add Ubisoft to the mix… Then the baseless and undeserved hype… Then the gimmicky way they marketed the multyplayer… Then the various small elements of the business model that fly in today’s market for some reason…

        • OmNomNom says:

          This nails it. It isn’t quite the game we were being lead to believe was being developed all these years. My friends and I were hyped about this for so long. It kind of feels like Destiny crossed with R6 Vegas but with worse combat than both, I don’t quite understand how they managed it.

        • Robomonk says:

          Okay, you personally don’t like this game and the design choices, fair enough.

          Then, do you have examples of games you consider to be up to your personal standard? Something that you enjoy playing perhaps or something you are looking forward to?

          This isn’t a trap or anything like that. I like to see what is interesting to other people – a sort of counter to what they’re not interested in.

          Also, “I just hope that Ubisoft shit it up as per usual so that people rag on it and quickly move on.”?

          Why hope that people would rag on it? I mean, there might be some that enjoy it right? And why hope for ill will towards a company and the people that work in it? I guess I could understand it if you believe they’re somehow lacking creativity or perhaps you don’t like conglomerate.

        • Dethamphetamine says:

          Zankman if the enemies took less damage what would be the point in finding loot? All loot would be the same and all guns would be on the same level so it would really defeat the purpose. The game reminds me of a tps mixed with a dungeon crawler. The darkzone is actually a lot of fun with a team. It can be pretty intense when you have a bag of loot and you’re waiting on the chopper to grab your stash and another team shows up. It can be a fight or they could be friendly. I’m not trying to change your mind and I wouldn’t care if you were hip af with a manbun. This game isn’t for everyone but honestly, they haven’t changed the formula since they began advertising. it plays exactly like the team said it would. I agree that I am a little timid about Ubi though. They’ve burnt us in the past that for sure.

        • Stick35 says:

          Clearly you do not understand what kind of game this is. There has already been numerous articles on the fact that it is harder to suspend belief when a setting is more modern and realistic than say something sci-fi like Destiny. You will much more readily believe or at least accept the fact that some alien can withstand multiple shots, and a couple grenades, and continue fighting. In ANY other MMORPG (which is what Destiny is by design), mobs will take multiple hits to bring down. Do you really think that animated skeleton can take 20 hits with a massive axe without falling apart?

          I saw a comment on a different article that sums up the misconception that so many people have, “people need to understand that this is an rpg with shooter elements; not a shooter with rpg elements.”

          Perfectly stated. Is it unrealistic for a random thug in the streets to take 12 shotgun blasts before dying? Yes, yes it is. But this game isn’t a shooter. This game is an RPG, and more specifically, an MMORPG. The backend for RPG type games are dice rolls, stats, numbers, and calculations. Your point of view drives the fallacy in your conception of what this game is. As stated, it is an RPG with shooter elements, not the other way around.

    • derbefrier says:

      unless you just cant get enough of 3rd person cover shooters, yeah its boring as hell. lasted about an hour in the beta before i uninstalled. its a pretty highly polished generic cover shooter with a side of MMO slapped on top.

  2. El_MUERkO says:

    If the Australian servers go live at one minute past midnight and the game unlocks on Steam/Uplay at the same time then PC players are going to be doing shenanigans to unlock their games rather than wait till the next day to play. I wish Ubi wouldn’t fuck about like this, it’s just going to end up with lots of pissed off gamers flooding forums and reddits to rage that they can’t play when others can.

    • Plake says:

      Who says some people can play before others? Its the opposite!
      Due to timezones for some that exact same moment is at midnight, while its 5 in the morning somewhere else.

      • SquidgyB says:

        Exactly – isn’t this what lots of people have been hankering for all this time? A simple “one point in time” release for the entire world?

        I guess it’s just the cold realisation that some people will always have a rough deal with regards to time of day with such a release.

  3. EdgarHighmen says:

    Is steam 12 hours behind on unlocking the game EST? 5 days 21 hours is 12PM not AM :'( wtf

  4. Dr_Barnowl says:

    who even buys discs on PC any more?

    People who like not to be fleeced?

    When you can get a game on disc, shipped in a box, for less than a digital download, something is wrong with the market.

    • Rizlar says:

      Just don’t hold out hope for a cool manual and/or map. :(

    • jhk655 says:

      Also, half the time these days you just get a cd key and a disc with a steam installer on it. It’s pretty ridiculous. Noone wants to sell you software anymore, they want to rent it to you.

      • misterhyd3 says:

        As-is their right. IBM wanted to buy the rights to “Windows” in the early 80’s, yet Bill Gates knew how profitable Windows was going to be, so instead he forced IBM to buy a license, which allowed them to feature the software on their computer, yet have no ownership of the software itself. This ensured both IBM and Microsoft a profitable future — IBM’s computers were already popular and selling well, but adding Windows (a new and exciting graphical user interface-based operating system [which was an almost brand-new experience at the time]) also guaranteed that IBM would sell even more computers because of the excitement surrounding this new operating system interface, while ensuring Microsoft would make a cut off of every PC IBM sold.

        In that same vein, every version of Windows you’ve installed since Windows 98 has not been your property. You own a license to use the software in whatever way you see fit, as long as you’re not profiting directly off of the code-base nor sharing that license with others. When you own something, you’re not limited to what you want to do with it in the majority of cases. This doesn’t extend to media, or items which are protected by copyright/the owner reserves all rights. Video games fall under that same umbrella. There’s nothing wrong with you not owning the software. You didn’t write the software. You didn’t pay for its development directly. You paid to own a license to that software, allowing you to enjoy certain rights, including the enjoyment of the content contained within to its fullest extent. Sure, you own the physical disk, the case it came in, and the booklet (if any) included (and in the case of collector’s edition copies, any extra physical materials that accompany the disk) as well. I don’t know if you’ve ever truly read a EULA agreement for any software that you’ve paid for in the last two decades, but if you haven’t (I know they’re long and boring as shit)? Do yourself a favor and read one. You’d be surprised how limited your rights are re: software you “buy.”

        This is nothing new, and in my opinion, there’s nothing wrong with what you described.

    • iainb says:

      I paid $42.99 for my CD key from GMG. Who is getting fleeced on digital downloads?

  5. melnificent says:

    A unified release time across the world, this is a positive move for #NoOceans…

    …if the servers hold up.

  6. Marclev says:

    “, reviewers will start playing the game along with everyone else when it’s released”

    Ahhhh I see. Thank you, no. Pre-ordering is bad enough, pre-ordering a game that has a review embargo before launch day (whatever excuse they give) is just asking to be punished.

    • Blackcompany says:

      Of course they wont allow early reviews. If you started reviewing the game a day or two in advance, you’d be bored with the game’s one activity by launch day and unable to recommend it to anyone.

      After all, shooting bullet sponges with pellet guns textured to look like military hardware only stays fun so long…

      • SyCo_Venom says:

        Ya turns out ppl have different taste, I know crazy eh? Blew my mind too when I realized that. Not like there is a ton of 1 or 2 shot kill online games out there at all.

        I know reading and looking up information is hard, but they did say it was not really possible to turn on servers for a very small portion of people and if they only played the missions by themselves they would miss most the games point and that is to missions with your friends and venture to the dark zones where other players are. And not even 2 weeks ago they have a open beta that anyone could review so all your points are really bad but I am sure that wont stop ya from spewing shit every where.

        • Marclev says:

          Sigh … whatever reason they’re giving, they’re not letting reviewers review it prior to launch. If it were that great, they’d find a way to do so to build hype through positive reviews, don’t you think?

          In the history of gaming that has never, at least not that I can remember, been a sign of a awe inspiring ground breaking game (more the opposite).

          Someone can be more than welcome to correct me if I’m wrong, but what games have done this that have turned out to be good exactly?

          Taste has nothing to do with it, bitter experience sadly does.

          • Stick35 says:

            How does that even make sense? How many reviewers do you think there are? Release day will be seeing hundreds of thousands of people, if not over a million globally. How exactly do you simulate that on the fly with no added hardware and or coding just for a couple days so the reviewers can play it? And if you see a review two days in advance before launch, will that somehow convince you to pre-order the game instead of purchase it at some point after? Maybe, but I doubt it. There are going to be thousands streaming this game. There will be plenty of reviews, comments, opinions, gifs, pictures, and videos. I fail to see that a couple extra days for specific reviewers to play the game will result in any real catastrophe other than some people being “upset” lol.

          • misterhyd3 says:

            @marclev — I honestly think Ubisoft is a joke from an “honesty in advertising” standpoint (though they did do a considerably better job with AC: Syndicate on this front than they did with AC: Unity, and it’d be a promising sign for the industry if this trend continued), and their reputation re: extensive pre-release testing w/ almost any game I can think of that’s launched under their banner in the last five years is tenuous at best. But I do believe that The Division has the potential to offer some truly unique/rewarding/enjoyable experiences to players if it isn’t abused/exploited by hackers/cheaters/trolls (the “betrayal/rogue” system has the potential to be a disaster in this regard).

            However, I do have an honest, non-sarcastic question: How can a reviewer give an honest assessment of an MMORPG made by any developer if the true promise of the game stems from random encounters with other real players, and the bond one can form with teammates/total strangers when there won’t be a massive number of players online long enough for them to build those rewarding friendships/alliances the game is promising until the game is actually released? This doesn’t even take into account the “betrayal/going rogue” mechanic on offer in the game, which one would probably only experience under complex circumstances that unfold over a longer period of time. That sort of intrigue takes time (if it’s done right, anyway) I think.

            How can one review a game with any authenticity/legitimacy when the game’s promise can only ever really be realized when there’s a massive number of players online at any given time, yet the game hasn’t even released yet to offer those conditions? Given that the beta was only 72 hours long and that the first few hours of gameplay for many of the streamers I saw play the game was spent just learning the game’s core concepts and exploring the world, I actually think I can understand where Ubi’s coming from for once.

            What do you think?

          • Marclev says:

            But isn’t this meant to be a single player game as well? Surely that wouldn’t be affected by the same restrictions as the multiplayer.

            Steam does in fact list it as “Single Player”, so unless that’s misleading, what am I missing?

          • misterhyd3 says:

            @marclev — Replying to you here, because for some reason no “reply” button would appear under your most recent comment to me. I see what you’re saying now — your problem isn’t “why can’t they review it now, Ubi?” It’s “why can’t they review the single-player now, Ubi?”

            My answer to that: I honestly don’t know. I can only speculate based on what I’ve read and heard. In one of the gameplay streams Ubi did (where the guy with the heavy French-Canadian accent was the one playing), he mentioned that there is a fully-featured single-player campaign, but that the world in which the single-player campaign took place would be effected by how things were playing out in the larger, massively-multiplayer world. He didn’t say how it would be effected, or if it would have major story implications (for fuck’s sake, I hope not). I also know that the game is “always online,” though if Ubi wanted to allow just single-player campaign reviews, then I’m sure they could either waive the requirement for that purpose, or allow reviewers to connect for that purpose.

            One thing I will say, however, is that I don’t think the potential charm/revolutionary qualities of this game are single-player only, and by that token one who reviews only the single-player campaign may not be getting the full experience (in fact, I’d wager that they almost definitely would not) and therefore would be reviewing a full game based on the merits of only a single piece of it. Either way, my answer still is: I don’t know, and I won’t until the game comes out, but I do actually think that for once, Ubi’s position makes sense. I can’t blame them for not wanting folks to review a game as a whole based on the merits of only pieces of it, especially when it’s possible that the game changes based on the happenings in the larger, massively-multiplayer, connected world.

            Wouldn’t be the first time they’d proven me wrong if they were just doing this to make it impossible to allow players to make an informed decision, however. Fucking over their user base is not something Ubi is a stranger to.

            My advice to you? Don’t buy the game at launch. Wait until reviewers have actually had a chance to sink their teeth into the entire game. Reviewers are still going to receive review copies (read: free copies) of the game to that end, and you’ll still have a chance to make an informed decision post-launch. Nobody said you had to pre-order. However, any folks who bitch about the rewards reaped by players who do take that risk, putting their faith in Ubi by giving them money before the product is released? Those folks’ only real gripe is that folks shouldn’t be giving companies money before games are released given that this practice has shown to give less-honest companies leeway to not pour 110% effort into their products. Therefore, these users who now refuse to pre-order (and talk down to those who still choose to do so) are honestly just angry that the games aren’t what they’d hoped the game would be. I think that aggression is mis-placed.

            Any gamer who chooses to pre-order, whether pre-release game previews exist or not, just wants to have the luxury of being able to play the minute a game releases. There’s nothing wrong with paying the same price one would pay after release for that privilege. The problem lies with publishers/developers who take advantage of the faith/trust of those people, and treat that early money as a reprieve from their responsibilities to release something that is worth every penny, validating the trust/faith those users placed in those publishers/developers.

            Again, however, given the potentially revolutionary nature of this game (not in terms of story, because we’ve seen variations of this in the recent past — Resident Evil immediately comes to mind, with an infection wiping out humanity, humanity killing humanity ensues, etc…) this is one time I’m with Ubi on no-prerelease “reviews,” as I just don’t see how someone could review the full experience without actually experiencing it. As for a single-player-only review? I don’t know. I can only guess that a single-player-only review could be damaging to the game’s success, and potentially even be just as misleading to the player as no review at all could be. In one case, a developer could potentially be lying about a game’s quality by omission. In another? A reviewer could be (intentionally or otherwise) lying about a game’s quality by judging a book based on only a few of its chapters.

          • typographie says:

            The excuse they gave would be fine if all they were doing is recommending reviewers leave a note at the top that the final, populated experience may differ. That fact does not invalidate the entire independent review process. If the game is for sale, reviews—with whatever fair disclaimers are appropriate—should be available. That they’re using this to sell a post-launch review embargo should be a gigantic red flag to anyone considering purchasing this game.

          • Marclev says:

            Well, not to want say I told you so, but looking at the reviews that are now coming out on steam they don’t exactly do much to change my mind!

  7. hollowroom says:

    I kind of lost track of this one. Is it single player / multiplayer?

  8. RCoon says:

    “Since it’s impossible for us to populate the servers in a way that would adequately replicate playing The Division on launch day, reviewers will start playing the game along with everyone else when it’s released”

    Funny. I’ve reviewed numerous multiplayer titles that required populated worlds – its achieved by getting lots of people to review your game, which considering its an Ubi title, shouldn’t really be that hard. Seems like a cunning plan to get masses of Day 1 sales before the potentially “below average” reviews begin amassing online.

    • misterhyd3 says:

      Just out of curiosity, can I get a link to one of those reviews? I legitimately am curious as to how one can make an honest assessment of a game whose real promise can only be realized when there’s a massive amount of players online to allow for the more organic, unexpected experiences to unfold, yet those circumstances don’t exist yet.

      Again, I’m not being sarcastic in any way. I honestly can’t think of how I would review a game like that when I wasn’t actually in a position to experience/explore the game as intended yet. To do so just seems like like it carries with it a danger of making assumptions about what it would be like, and if I’m looking to a review I trust to inform my buying decisions, I’m not relying on assumptions at all.