Shown during last year's E3, Ubisoft's The Division showed the publisher's intent to bring a open world RPG to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Most of what we've seen so far has been limited to what the game's engine is capable of, and apparently that's for good reason.
According to sources speaking to Game Reactor (translated by Videogamer), Ubisoft Massive (the studio behind The Division) has barely scratched the surface of actual development. "The game engine works well, it's not done but works well. The actual game development has barely started, however," the source, a former team member at Massive, claimed. "The fact that Ubisoft has gone public with a 2014 release date feels laughable to be perfectly honest, we will never be able to release The Division this year. It's a large project, and we have very far to go."
Now this wouldn't be the first time Ubisoft put the cart before the horse in the last few years. First, Rainbow Six: Patriots was announced, then shuffled off to development limbo after some time away from the public eye. Last year, Ubisoft announced Watch Dogs and The Crew for next-gen consoles, with Watch Dogs set to launch with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Just weeks before it was supposed to arrive, Ubisoft pulled Watch Dogs from the calendar, pushing its release into 2014 (we still don't have a concrete date, BTW). Though The Crew was never given more than a 2014 release window, that too was delayed further into 2014. That's not even touch South Park: The Stick of Truth, which Ubisoft acquired in the THQ bankruptcy sale, and which has been delayed numerous times already. We'll believe that March 6 release date when it actually shows up on our doorstep.
If the same type of delays were to happen with The Division, it would set an ugly precedent for Ubisoft's next-gen efforts. We're all in favor of keeping a game from going to press unfinished (we're looking at you, Battlefield 4), but at a certain point, it makes more sense to not announce a game until you know you're going to have something to give to players. For its part, Ubisoft has remained mum on the subject of The Division, but if it doesn't make at least an appearance by E3 2014, that should send up quite a few red flags about The Division's future. Keep in mind, this is just a rumor (for now), but it's one we'll be monitoring closely over the coming months.