Ubisoft is preparing to go back to its open-world sci-fi/fantasy shooter series with The Division 2. The Massive development studio confirmed that the game is coming in a blog post on the publisher’s website today. The studio didn’t provide many specifics about its release date, but it did promise to deliver more info at the Electronic Entertainment Expo trade show in Los Angeles in June.
Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 follows one of the best-selling games of 2016, and Ubisoft announced last week that it had reached 20 million players. The original takes place in the middle of a civilization-threatening event in New York City. Its structure is similar to other cooperative shooters like Destiny, but it also features a heavy emphasis on player-versus-player action.
Like with the rest of Ubisoft’s current roster of products, the publisher has made an effort to establish The Division as an ongoing game-as-a-service product. The company rolled out regular updates that include new content and gameplay tweaks. But like developer Bungie and its Destiny, Massive wants to take what it has learned and apply that to something new that could potentially last longer than two or three years.
“All of these new features and experiences have made our team better,” Massive creative director Julian Gerighty wrote in the blog. “We’re nimbler and better prepared to take action based on feedback. And now, more than ever before, we have a clear vision of what’s important and what continues to make The Division a special experience for so many people.”
Massive is planning a Year 2 celebration for The Division, which echoes the live-services structure of Ubisoft’s Rainbow Six: Siege behemoth. The studio also is working on an Xbox One X upgrade for The Division, which sounds like something that could get me back into it.
But this is Massive trying to do right by the most dedicated Division fans prior to launching a sequel that can build on that success. Ubisoft has tapped a number of its other studios to work in support roles on The Division 2, and it has made some upgrades to the technology backbone of the series.
“The Division 2 will be powered by an updated version of the Snowdrop engine that enables us to realize our ambitions for the sequel,” said Gerighty. “But more importantly, we’re also taking everything we learned over the past two years and applying it towards the sequel to make sure we get it right.”