Tyler Duckworth

The Division: A Lesson In Persistence

It’s E3 2013. Multiple blockbuster games have been revealed. With new franchises such as Watch_Dogs, or new installments in existing franchises like Assassins Creed: Black Flag, the coming years seem packed. That’s when the lights go out and a video plays. It details a world in a crisis, infected from an outbreak on Black Friday. The lights come back on, with one sentence written on the screen: What will it take to save what remains?

Like it or not, The Division is a great example of game development, particularly where it can go bad and where it can go good. The game was revealed to the public in 2013, with an intial release date of 2014, but was delayed until March 8th 2016. Through multiple delays, it fell into that strange area of games which have long development cycles, like Beyond Good and Evil 2 or Mass Effect: Andromeda. (which is worth a more in-depth exploration)

When the full thing released, it came out to some praise, but many criticisms. As a writer from IGN best puts it:

"...as full as the world is of eerily beautiful sights to see, it is equally devoid of worthwhile things to do."

Vince Ingenito

The world was beautiful, but there were many inital problems. Random encounters were rare, enemies endless in combat, but the game was fun when the guns went hot. The world was immersive, with nearly every part of the environment reacting to you. Open car doors would close when you touched them, you could give civilians food, and more.

As time went on, the Division forged a new path, one that similar shared-world games such as the Destiny Franchise followed. They met with their community and got feedback through the ETF, or Elite Task Force. They added systems that their players wanted, harder PvE experiences, good loot, and more.

By the end of 2017, The Division had a dedicated playerbase, one that continually played the new and enriching experiences that Massive rolled out. Whether or not you liked the game, it is impossible to deny that it managed to fix itself. With a sequel on the way, it will be fascinating to see where this franchise goes next.

Hello! I was born in Knoxville, TN and currently attend the L&N STEM Academy. I have interests in things varying from digital design to programming. I work with the L&N STEMpunks Robotics team to model and program robots.