All games go through a range of testing. However, with games growing exponentially, in-house teams simply can’t get through everything and test all the features during the Alpha and Beta stages. As a result, the premium testing experience is offered to players who can’t wait to get their hands on the game. It looks like Ubisoft’s next multiplayer-dependent game will use this model, too.
The good people of Reddit have discovered a section of The Division’s site that will go live when the developers are good and ready. However, it clearly shows an Alpha tab, implying that it will be used for sign-up or other information.
Usually these kinds of things are based on sign-up only, made available to a select group of die-hard fans and industry professional. Oh, and YouTubers/streamers, of course. Can’t forget about them. It will be used to showcase where the game is at the moment, as well as help the developers find a whole bunch of bugs that wouldn’t be found without hundreds of man hours of testing.
This isn’t really a big surprise. With a game this large, and this server-reliant, it makes sense for Ubisoft to try and get it right for launch. Yes, try is the keyword here. Still, they have announced that both Tom Clancy games will release this year, so it would be reasonable for them to create a semi-open Alpha test to help get rid of bugs, as well as test server strain. We will probably also see an open Beta on one of the consoles (perhaps a surprise announcement at E3) to help build hype around the title. It’s part of the marketing machine now, and a crucial part of testing. Plus, if there is any hope of releasing a game at launch that isn’t riddled with bugs or plagued by server crashes, they need to put it through its paces during testing.
While I love the premise of The Division, and I think it could be an interesting game, I am incredibly wary this time around. I want it to be excellent, but as another “not an MMO shooter”, I really worry that it will fail to live up to its potential, especially if it depends on playing with strangers on the internet.
Last Updated: February 24, 2015