The Division wants to avoid parallels with the 9/11 attacks

3 min read

The Division is avoiding ties to 911

I don’t think the events of September 11th, 2001 will ever be forgotten by those who witnessed it. The city of New York being brought to its knees in the most devastating attack on U.S soil might be 15 years passed, but it’s a wound still raw from so many so close to the event. So it’s peculiar then that a game like The Division takes place in a similarly terrorist-stricken city of New York. And Ubisoft don’t want the two compared.

That’s the message that came up during a rather great interview by Killscreen, who managed to sit down with Julian Gerighty, the associate creative director on The Division and ask about some of the sources they drew on when creating a New York responding to terror. Killscreen asked whether the team had spoken to some of the first responders to 9/11 to get a sense of the severity of an attack such as this, which prompted a surprising answer.

“I didn’t,” he responded. “I don’t think even the parallel between this game scenario and 9/11 exists.”

“It’s the first time I’ve ever been asked about it, and it hasn’t really crossed any of the meetings that I’ve done on it before.”

It’s might be surprising from a contextual stance, but it makes sense for Ubisoft to not want to start thinking of their game as a “9/11” recreation. The Division’s New York is ravaged by a virus spread by the passing of currency, leading to a break down is society and rampant crime in its streets. Killscreen then questioned whether this was a comment on capitalism, and it seems Ubisoft isn’t comfortable with having any political reasoning tied to their MMO.

“At the end of the day, it’s a videogame, it’s an entertainment product… There’s no particularly political message with it.”

And that may be true for the intention, but ignoring such obvious parallels is equally damning. Ubisoft have really tried to carefully market a game cantered on terrorism in a political climate rife with recent and constant threats of terrorist violence. Wanting to distance themselves from that makes sense, but that doesn’t mean some semblance between the two doesn’t exist.

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The Division is out March 8th.

Last Updated: February 9, 2016

Alessandro Barbosa

You can all call me Sandy until I figure out how to edit this thing, which is probably never. Sandy not good enough? Call me xXx_J0k3R_360degreeN0Sc0pe_xXx. Also, Geoff’s a bastard.

  • Captain JJ ‘saurus

    I’ll say it again…stop using NY in every damn game.

    • AfricanTime

      they could use Joburg, however there wouldn’t be much to destroy in the apocalypse

      • Coughsie

        much left… FTFY

        • AfricanTime

          did you fail your “Rain Man” audition for being too pedantic …

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            I heard he said he should be called “Light Drizzle Man”.

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          JHB diss, I approve. 😀

      • Sageville

        All those dirt roads would be a rendering issue obviously….

    • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

      They have the whole world to play in, Parys in the Free State, Brakpan, Nigel, Danville, Kroonstad, those are all apocalyptic areas…

  • Grimthwacker

    “September 11th, 2011”?? Wait what? It happened 5 years ago?!!?!?!

    • Captain JJ ‘saurus

      According to a few 80s sci-fi movies. Flying cars.

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      Heh. There’s bad typos, and then there’s bad typos.

      • Captain JJ ‘saurus

        Well, consider this…there are younger Americans who believe that the 911 number is because of the 9/11 event.

        • HvR

          Not sure if that should make me feel more knowledgeable or really bloody old.

          • Captain JJ ‘saurus

            I still remember watching it on tv when the second plane hit.
            So yea, I’m feeling old too.

          • Hammersteyn

            We still used ISDN back then, couldn’t even get into CNN

          • HvR

            Pfft I had Mweb dail-up

          • Captain JJ ‘saurus

            Me too. 😀

          • Commander Admiral Chief

            R99 black box!

          • HvR

            LOL, we actually signed up with iafrica before they were bought out by Mweb. Remember we got a 56K modem and sleeveless hoodie in the box.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            I was sitting on IRC. I heard it there even before it was announced on the radio we had in the office.

          • HvR

            Sitting in the lounge with TV on in the background studying for Accounting September exam the next day in preparation for final Matric exam that started in October.

          • Commander Admiral Chief

            Yeah, I got home after writing the morning, watched the news, saw, wow, this looks like bad effects for an upcoming movie.

            I came to the grim realization that IRL planes and towers and explosions look different

          • Commander Admiral Chief


    • Fixed. Thanks. Early morning oversight.

      • Grimthwacker


  • Hammersteyn

    We get to fly jumbo jets?

  • When is it okay to use 9/11?. I am just asking for James Cameron/Micheal Bay.

    • HvR

      Tom Clancy was so next level he used 9/11 in 1994.

      • Captain JJ ‘saurus

        Yea. Then when he died Ubisoft decided that story-telling isn’t what Tom Clancy is about and made R6 Siege MP only.
        F*cking idiots.

      • And Gene Roddenberry conceptualized the cellphone in the 70s. Still asking for the rest. 🙂

        Edit: Smartphone.

  • Dane

    Dear america: Get over it.

  • VampyreSquirrel

    Then set the game in another city in the States (seeing as the States keeps being destroyed)… there are CRAP LOADS of cities over there!!!

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