For those who are interested in Tom Clancy’s The Division, and looking forward to the Beta, may be disappointed that they have to wait until early 2016 to play the game in the closed beta. While staying committed to their March 8 2016 release date, Uisoft has said they are changing some of their beta plans to reach that goal, presumably to have it more polished with more content to try out.
Those who pre-ordered it on Xbox One however, will get a chance to play the game this year. In addition to delaying the beta they have announced that The Division will have an Xbox One exclusive alpha and we got some information on what that will entail. The Alpha is set to take place between December 9th and 12th, and in addition to pre-orderers, some people on the waitlist for the Xbox One Alpha, may get in to participate, on an as-needed by Ubisoft basis. The alpha will be 23.2 GB, and will be the first time members of the public get to play parts outside of the DarkZone PvP areas.
However, those outside of the Alpha won’t be hearing about it. Those who join the alpha will have to sign a non-disclosure agreement, and will not be allowed to capture gameplay content, livestream, post images, or discuss the alpha outside of the specially set aside forums. The focus with the alpha is apparently server stability, as well as getting some more player feedback on the gameplay.
It looks like Ubisoft is a bit worried about The Division here with the way they are handling this, with the NDA, the beta delay and everything. It might be depending on feedback and reactions they opt to delay The Division’s release, which may allow further polish. I’m guessing they are worried about people talking about unfinished aspects in a game 4 months from launch, but that seems like you should have a lot of the polish already done. It may help to contain any backlash on flaws there are or server issues – though how they’ll stop people from talking on forums I’m not sure. This seems like something in the past companies would rely on their own testing and focus groups for that is basically being farmed out to players as a ‘preorder bonus’ now.