Update November 30, 2016: Ubisoft say their previous statement on The Division's daily active users was a miscommunication, but it is gaining players in the wake of patch 1.4.
The Division isn't doing quite as well as we thought, but is gaining players. Ubisoft's Anne Blondel has revised her comments last week, explaining that while The Division hasn't reached the daily active user count of its launch window, Ubisoft is hopeful that it can follow the pattern of Rainbow Six and do so.
Related: Ubisoft also say that a Vivendi takeover would remove their independence.
"This was a miscommunication - what I meant to say is the numbers for The Division are trending back in a positive direction," she explains. "Thanks to what we’ve seen with patch 1.4 and other updates the team has delivered. What I should have said is, we think it’s possible that The Division follows a similar pattern to Rainbow Six: Siege, which has seen increasing engagement to the point that DAU numbers have equaled those we saw during the launch period.”
Rainbow Six recently had its second season pass announced following a massively successful year as a mid-level eSport. The Division, meanwhile, is sitting with a recent review score of Very Positive on Steam and you can see evidence of its regrowth on SteamCharts. Worth noting that it's not necessary to buy The Division through Steam to play it, hence those numbers seeming a little low.
Original story November 25, 2016: The Division is probably Ubisoft’s big success this year, along with their continuted support of Rainbow 6. Just SteamSpy figures suggest it got near a million sales on PC in a year when triple-A failed to garner those sorts of numbers all over the place, plus console efforts. As far as player numbers, there was a fairly quick mass exodus in both interest and bodies once the new factor wore off. However, Ubisoft say that their post-release plans have seen it return to the same active user counts they enjoyed on launch.
“Since the release of patch 1.4, we went back to the daily active users we had at launch, because people were [so impressed],” says Anne Blondel, VP of live operations at the publisher. She explains that it rebounded because “people realised we meant what we said” and Ubisoft plus developers Massive put time into fixing problems identified by the community.
“Some players left the game earlier than what we thought, then we had to make that tough call - do we keep providing them with extra content or do we stop everything for a while, settle down, fix everything and then once the game is where it should be, then we start providing more content.
“And this is what we did [and] the community was super happy about it, even though they were disappointed at first that we were to push back the next DLC releases.” Tackling community concerns was a major part of that, with Ubisoft executing plans quickly. “We had a dedicated task force come over to Massive, and then we had the Public Test Server where people could play [patches] before release and [give feedback], making sure it was responding to community needs.”
It’s worked not only in terms of raw numbers according to Blondel but player attitude too, saying that “the community is back to positive mode, we see more and more players coming back.” As for the future? “We’ll see, I’m not a fortune teller, but we expect that even more people will come.”