Today it’s exactly four years since we pushed the big, red button and launched Tom Clancy’s The Division 2. Since its release, the game has seen a major expansion – Warlords of New York – and 17 title updates with 11 seasons – with more on the horizon.
To celebrate, we caught up with some current and former team members to find out what makes the game so special.
THE WORLD OF THE DIVISION 2
One of the things in The Division 2 that stands out to a lot of people is the game’s world, the city of Washington D.C. – recreated to a 1:1 scale, using Massive’s own Snowdrop engine – itself. “There’s such a sense of scale and attention to detail,” Lead Game Designer Fredrik Thylander says. “And not just the visual fidelity, but how much there is to find and see and experience in that city.”
“The hidden hunters, the underground faction that only come out at night, the events and living world of enemies and friendlies roaming around,” he says. “There’s lots of systemic looter shooters out there, but none with an immersive, detailed, alive world like The Division 2.”
Product Director Morten Ryberg agrees. “The game has a lot of things that are different from most other games,” he says. “But most notably is the attention to detail in the world. We treat it as a character both in terms of story and emotion.”
Daria Ilyina, Community Developer, also points to the world as one of the things that really makes the game stand out. “It completely wraps up the players in the virtual experience in front of them – from story and sound to random encounters and graffiti on the streets of D.C.,” she says.
SHOOTING AND LOOTING
Another thing that our developers think makes the game special is the variety of gameplay styles it supports. “It doesn’t matter how many hours you’ve played – there’s something for everyone,” Daria says. “That’s what truly makes the game so enjoyable for many different people.”
It doesn’t matter how many hours you’ve played – there’s something for everyone.
“It’s not easy to make a game where loot feels rewarding and at the same time give players the choice in terms of their playstyle,” Morten adds. “I believe this is achieved in The Division 2.”
The gameplay is one of the things that stands out to Fredrik from his time working on The Division 2. “I think I’m most proud of the gunplay and shooting,” he says. “At the end of the day, even without all the RPG systems, great locations, and gadgets, it’s still a solid shooter at its core. One with far, far too many unique guns and attachments, that all feel fun to mess about with, and with unique sounds, reloads and handling.”
PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE
One of the first things that will catch your eye when you enter Massive’s studio in Malmö is a giant statue of Agent Heather Ward, one of the characters from The Division 2. The statue was originally constructed for E3 2018 and stood right at the entrance to one of the Los Angeles Convention Center’s wings, as the game was revealed to the public during the conference.
“That’s one of my best memories from The Division 2,” Cristian Pana, Senior Producer for the project and now Managing Director for Ubisoft Bucharest, remembers fondly. “Arriving at the LACC and seeing that beautiful statue, and the two robotic arms carving the names of community members and beta testers into the plinth.”
“The Division 2 community is one of the most diverse fanbases I’ve ever worked with,” Daria says. “They are an incredible bunch of players, artists, cosplayers, storytellers, streamers and content makers from across the globe united by a common passion – they embody the true essence of our Division Agents.”
In 2023, The Division 2 is still growing, and the team is planning for the game’s fifth year. “There are so many details and ambitious additions that we will bring to millions of players,” Morten says with a smile. “We are looking forward to sharing those plans with our players and even more to see it all be realized over the next 12 months.”
“A lot of hard work lays in front of us, but it will all be worth it!”
More from Tom Clancy’s The Division 2
- The Division 2 launch week – A Massive road to launch
- The Unique Sound of The Division 2, Audio Director Simon’s story