Last month, when Ubisoft delayed The Division from 2014 to 2015, developer Ubisoft Massive said, “We are creating something we are really proud of and we don’t want to compromise on quality. We are going to release the game when it’s ready.”
Discussing The Division’s delay with GameSpot at E3, Massive Managing Director David Polfeldt revealed that “we don’t know when the game will be ready” and their original release window of 2014 was “too optimistic:”
One thing that I would really like for this industry to be able to talk about is the difficulty of predicting [release dates]. Because we often talk about dates, but the reality – and this is really coming from the trenches – is that if you have a project with say 400 people on it, you’re working on a fairly new piece of hardware like the current-gen, and you’re trying to be the best game ever, and you want to do 90+ [Metacritic], the reality is it’s very hard to do that. It’s like if I were to ask you to become a professional athlete. Yeah, you could become an athlete, but when will you be ready? It’s a really hard question.
And I wish that we could speak about that more openly in the industry. It’s super difficult to manage a team that big. Any software project that is on that scale, it’s incredibly hard for a producer to manage and to accurately predict what’s going to happen. And then you add on top of that the discussion about the narrative, about the IP, about the main character, about the features. The real answer, and every developer knows this, is that we don’t know when the game will be ready. Every date that has ever been set in this industry is arbitrary at one point, and I wish we could say that more often that it’s impossible to know. The closer we get, the more accurate we will be. And I think for us, we were too optimistic when we said 2014. Because our game is ambitious and we feel that we have a fair shot at going over 90 [Metacritic]. So we’re gonna keep our ambition level up and we just need the time to make sure that we get there.
According to a source within Ubisoft Massive, The Division’s new 2015 release window is “a tad bit optimistic,” so don’t get your hopes up too high of seeing the game next year.
You will see more of The Division in the coming months though, as Polfeldt said, “[The Division is] a very ambitious game. We are saving many of the most interesting parts for later. We have a lot of interesting things in the game that were not shown this year at E3. So there’s a lot to come.”