The Division’s virus-riddled setting takes place in New York City. Few expected the sequel to stay put, but Washington D.C. was not at the heart of many fan theories. Therefore, the announcement was fairly surprising. In the trailers shown, thus far, Washington D.C. comes to life in The Division 2. The game depicts the beautiful capital city in a ruinous state. Centuries-old landmarks stand derelict, paragons of American values are nearly unrecognizable. There’s a reason Ubisoft Massive moved the series to D.C.; senior producer Cristian Pana explains why.
In an interview with USgamer, Pana says,
So we wanted to go from New York City, right? From the narrow streets of Manhattan. We wanted to move to a city that would offer us much more diversity and different opportunities for encounters.
We did the research and searched multiple cities; there was only one choice for us and that was Washington D.C. That’s the seat of power in the U.S. This is where The Division HQ actually also is. It felt for us very natural to go there and looking at Washington D.C. offered this diverse environment. All these biomes that offer us a great opportunity. The Washington Monument is a great example because its wide spaces allows us to create different tactical opportunities for players.
Of course, we looked at that. When we made the choice, we worked with architects, Special Forces, people that are from the city, urban explorers, researchers and so on to pick where was the best place for us to create this environment. So we ended up with that section of the map that you’ve seen. Of course we have some surprises in the post-launch that may extend on that.
In terms of gameplay, Washington D.C. represents the ideal choice. Tactically, D.C. offers just as many, if not more, creative ways to maneuver through environments as New York City. Yet, it’s the symbolism of D.C. that will truly separate the two settings from one another. Evidently, Ubisoft Massive aims to take full advantage of this in The Division 2’s base game and in post-launch content.
Players can enjoy the sequel solo or with friends when The Division 2 releases on March 15, 2019.
The Division 2 Washington DC Setting Explained by Producer