Ubisoft are hard at work creating new content for The Division 2, as well as working on the upcoming free-to-play The Division Heartland.
Following a wider announcement on the expansions that Ubisoft is going to start making to their The Division Universe, we've got new information about The Division Heartland. It sounds very exciting.
LATEST - Division Heartland To Skip E3
Ubisoft's E3 presentation is set to take place on Saturday, June 12th at 3:00 PM EST/8 PM BST and we can expect to see games such as Far Cry 6, but one game we won't be seeing is Division Heartland.
The free to play Division spin-off game is set to release later in 2021, or early 2022, so it is quite surprising that the game won't be shown off at the event.
In a recent tweet, the developers of the game explained their reasoning for missing the event saying,
"We won't be at Ubisoft Forward this year, but we invite you all to tune in alongside us to hear the exciting announcements across other Ubisoft titles! The Division Teams are still hard at work; new content for The Division 2 is on track for the end of the year, while Heartland will have additional tests available for players interested in signing up. We look forward to sharing more when we can."
The Division Heartland Summary
We don't really know a lot about The Division Heartland right now, as it was just announced. All we know is that it's going to be a free-to-play standalone title that doesn't require any previous experience with the series.
" Heartland is a standalone game that doesn’t require previous experience with the series but will provide an all-new perspective on the universe in a new setting."
It's also going to take us to a new setting and the "Heartland" subtitle would suggest that it is going to be somewhere more in the middle of the United States of America. Previously, The Division has taken us to Washington D.C. and New York City.
We also have the first bit of artwork, which could offer us a few hints as to where we're going next...
The announcement article from Alain Corre, Ubisoft EMEA's Executive Director, is pretty light on any more information.
Release Date Information
At the moment, we don't know exactly when The Division Heartland is due to release. We do have a very vague release window of "2021-22" from Ubisoft, but the title has barely even started its "early test phases" so we're not sure if we're expecting to see it before the start of next year.
If you think we're joking, this is literally all that was said regarding the release date:
" The game will be made available in 2021-22 on PC, consoles, and cloud. Those interested in participating in its early test phases can sign up here."
The fact that Ubisoft is even mentioning 2021 is a good sign, but we all know how drastic delays can be in this industry. We're not expecting to see this game until at least Q2 2022, but E3 2021 is right around the corner and the UbiForward presentation would be a perfect time to add some clarity to this.
As for the title itself, we only really know that it's going to be a free-to-play title. What does this mean, though?
Right now, our best bet is to look at games that adopt the looter-shooter mechanics with a free-to-play mandate. Destiny 2 screams all of these things, but this started as a paid title. There's also a wide array of battle royale titles that we can look at for clues, as these are all mostly free to play.
What point are we getting at? Monetisation and Microtransactions. If you're making a free-to-play title in 2021, there's going to be some kind of Battle Pass and a premium paid currency for cosmetics. We know that a pay-to-win structure has proven very unpopular with players, so we're expecting the monetisation to be limited to cosmetic items.
However, could we also a system similar to Destiny 2's seasonal content? In the latest season, for example, some of the content is available to all players but a lot of the higher-end stuff is reserved for Season Pass holders. These are more suited to players that are going to put a lot of time into the game anyway, so it makes sense that they're more likely to invest actual money, but it does still take away from the free-to-play aspect of it.
Still, The Division is more of a narrative-based PvE title like Destiny 2 and not a PvP battle royale like Fortnite or Warzone... Would a Season Pass system really be outside the realms of possibility?
The Division Universe Content Roadmap
As for the rest of The Division's Universe of content, there's a lot more to come. Alongside the announcement that The Division Heartland was coming out, Ubisoft also announced the following:
- New The Division 2 Content;
- Due late 2021;
- The Division Mobile;
- The Division Film;
- Development in partnership with Netflix;
- Starring Jessica Chastain and Jake Gyllenhall;
- Inspired by the events of the original game;
- The Division Novel;
- Set after The Division 2;
" It’s an exciting time to be a fan. We can’t thank you enough for your continued support of The Division and we also want to thank all of our teams that continue to improve, grow, and expand upon its universe."
They're not wrong. If you're a fan of The Division, there's a lot of great stuff in the works and a bright future for the franchise. Now... If they could just bring back GRAW...