Canceled Division Game Started As A Battle Royale Mode For The Division 2, Dev Says

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Recently, Ubisoft canceled its upcoming free-to-play shooter, The Division Heartland, stating that it “redeployed resources” to other games like XDefiant and Rainbow Six Siege. Now, a developer who says he worked on an early version of Heartland says that it started off as a “low-risk” battle royale mode for The Division 2.

Level designer Ryan Smith said on X/Twitter that he was part of a small team that started work on the project that would become Heartland in 2019. Smith–who is now a lead level designer on Overwatch 2–indicated that it started off as a battle royale mode for the already-successful The Division 2. However, despite a “pretty clear plan,” Ubisoft and developer Red Storm apparently decided to make the mode its own game at some point. Several large shooter franchises were working on their own battle royale spin-offs at the time, such as Call of Duty: Warzone, which first released in March 2020.

Ubisoft has canceled a number of high-profile projects in the past 12 months, reportedly including Immortals Fenyx Rising 2, as well as several unannounced games. Heartland’s canning came as a surprise to some players, particularly since the game had gone through at least one closed beta and was rated by the Taiwan game rating board. As part of the announcement, Ubisoft indicated that The Division 3 is full steam ahead, and we hope that it may make an appearance at Ubisoft Forward in June.