Here we are, a full week and a day after The Division’s latest State of the Game stream, and I’m only just now writing about it. This was a conscious choice. I wanted to avoid knee-jerk reactions and sounding like an angry fanboy. Despite waiting a week, my current thoughts are no different than they were when I first heard the news: I’m angry.
I’m angry at Ubisoft for taking the first steps down a slippery slope which often leads to loot box fiascos and microtransactions. Even though their decisions may not cause a drop in pre-orders or initial sales, it can lead to a community that plays a game they love from a developer they’ve come to resent. Can anyone think of any other looter shooter and their once beloved developer?
I’m angry at Ubisoft for claiming to have learned how bad splitting up the community is, and yet they are offering 3-day early access with pre-orders, 7-day early access to DLC content with the Year 1 Pass, and numerous pre-order editions that vary in price and availability based on region, country, and retailer. Nothing divides a community quite like letting only those that can afford to pay more play earlier than the rest.
I’m angry at Ubisoft for taking advantage of the known issue of limited stash space. If you pre-order the Ultimate Edition or above you’ll have access to the Elite Agent Pack, which provides a yet undetermined number of additional stash spaces. The lack of stash space has always been something the community has voiced it’s unified opinion about, and is now another decision that will divide the community.
To further complicate matters, Yannik B, Senior Community Developer at Massive, said that “We want to have enough stash space for everyone so you don’t need to buy that Elite Agent Pack in order to be able to store all your items.” What is the point of offering an option to pay for more stash space if your goal is to provide enough stash space to store everything for free to begin with?
The answer is simple: Money
I’m angry at Ubisoft for being willing to walk this road. For risking the cohesion of the community all the while talking about how much they learned about the importance of not dividing the community. Ubisoft is playing innocent. They’re walking down this path while looking us in the eyes and telling us they aren’t.
But most of all I’m angry at myself.
I’m angry at myself because I know that, in spite of all of this, I still want to pre-order. I still want to do everything I can to make sure The Division 2, and the community around it, succeed. I’m angry that this might actually make me as much a part of the problem as Ubisoft is.
I’m not sure what to do, here. I don’t know if we can make Ubisoft see that their decisions could have the complete opposite effect on the community than what they’re claiming to want. What do you think? Comment below or hit me up on Twitter (@the_legolicious) and let’s discuss!
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