Ubisoft isn’t done testing its upcoming online shooter, according to a leak from one of Microsoft’s social-media accounts.
Xbox One will get an open beta for Tom Clancy’s The Division starting February 16, according to official Xbox Italy Facebook page (as first caught by Eurogamer). The test will allegedly run through February 21. Unlike the closed test that is running now, everyone should have the opportunity to download and play without having to preorder the full game. The Division is an apocalyptic online shooter that has players teaming up with one another to take on role-playing-game-style missions. It is one of the biggest releases of the first half of the year for both Ubisoft and the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles.
It makes sense that Ubisoft would want to come back with another beta. The game is always online, which means it has a lot of potential to break in unexpected ways. Extensive testing will help the publisher eliminate some of those issues before The Division officially launches March 8. On top of squashing bugs, Ubisoft is obviously using these beta tests as promotional demos. The shooter has a lot of positive buzz going for it now that so many people are trying it out — even despite what some of us at GamesBeat have to say about it. Giving people who haven’t preordered the chance to try it after hearing all their friends hype it up seems like a smart way to to get more people to preorder.
The strategy of using a beta to increase awareness for a game isn’t new. Publisher Activision firmly established the practice in 2007 when it launched Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare as a test following its strong debut at the Electronic Entertainment Expo trade show that year. The response was extremely positive, and that beta helped propel the franchise into its position atop the sales charts ever since.
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