Game releases don’t get any bigger than Ubisoft’s The Division release. The publisher and Massive Entertainment are trying to meld realistic action shooters with role-playing games. Likewise, betas don’t get anymore important than The Division Open Beta release scheduled for this week.
A good beta can be great news for a game still struggling to connect with potential buyers. Even for games that aren’t trying to build release hype, they’re important. The Division is all anyone can talk about, but if this latest test can’t stand up to the amount of people trying the game, Ubisoft could have a disaster on its hands. Worse, if people don’t like what they see in The Division Open Beta, the game’s reputation could be damaged before physical copies ever arrive on store shelves.
The stakes are high and so is the excitement. Here’s what you need to know about The Division Open Beta release this week on Xbox Live, Steam, UPlay and PlayStation Network.
What is The Division Open Beta Release
The Division Open Beta release is everyone’s chance to try The Division before it arrives on store shelves. It’s really just that simple.
Part hype machine and part testing opportunity, an open beta allows video game makers to test how their online systems and servers can handle a large influx of people. Having a lot of users access a title at once can wreak havoc on games that a developer hasn’t tested in the real world.
The development team is constantly running checks and getting feedback on what problems need to be addressed during the open beta period. As for the publisher, Ubisoft is hoping that making a test version of the game available to everyone will boost the game’s profile and lead to more sales. Theoretically, Xbox Live, PlayStation Network and Steam users that have yet to hear about The Division will notice the influx of people talking about it and want to try it for themselves.
Ubisoft previously held a closed beta for The Division that required users to have a pre-order code or be selected. The Division Open Beta ditches those restrictions. As long as you have a decent internet connection to download the beta client and connect to its servers, you can play.
The Division Open Beta Release Start Time & End
When The Division Open Beta kicks off is completely based on what you plan to play it on. Microsoft has a deal with Ubisoft that ensures the Xbox One gets early access.
For Xbox One, The Division Open Beta starts at 4 AM Eastern Standard Time, 1 AM Pacific Standard Time on tomorrow, February 18th. Sony’s PS4 and Windows PCs get the Open Beta a day later on February 19th at 7 AM Eastern Standard Time and 4 AM Pacific Standard Time.
Ubisoft hasn’t revealed any plans to extend the open beta past its scheduled end date of February 22nd at 7AM Eastern Standard Time. Ubisoft didn’t reveal it was extending The Division Closed Beta until the day before it was due to expire.
The Division Open Beta Release Download and Pre-load
Getting into The Division Open Beta is pretty straight forward. Users need only a compatible device to play it on, internet access and the open beta client.
Xbox One owners should go into the Xbox Store and select The Division Open Beta from the list of games under “Demos.” PC gamers without the UPlay Software will need to download and install the software here. Then navigate to the Store’s “Free games” area to get their hands on the beta client. Steam lists the download of the open beta for its platform on the game’s pre-order page here. PS4 owners can add the download to their game from here.
Note that with all versions of the beta and the final game, players need to log into or create a UPlay Account. A UPlay account is absolutely free to create directly from the game and online.
The Xbox One version of The Division Open Beta requires 24 GB of free space. The PS4 version requires just a bit more space, at 25 GB. PC owners have a 25GB download ahead of them.
All versions of The Division Open Beta download are available now ahead of the beta actually going live. Theoretically, this should allow for most people to be ready the moment Ubisoft and Massive Entertainment enable everything.
What New Content is in The Division Open Beta?
The Division Open Beta still doesn’t give players access to the entire game. That being said, there are reasons to try it out. For starters, Ubisoft has added another story related mission this time that wasn’t unlocked in the closed beta. It’s directly related to the Cleaners, a faction of enemies shown off in a few of the game’s recent trailers. Ubisoft teases the new content in a new YouTube video.
Additionally, character creation and basic base setup from the previous test is back. As such, players can unlock the medial wing in their base and fight for loot with enemies inside the Dark Zone multiplayer area.
Good luck with The Division Open Beta Release. Absolutely none of the progress that a character earns in in the open beta will make it to the final game. Ubisoft will give players a special item in the final game for participating in the open beta.