The Division Dev Says PC Version “Kept In Check” with Consoles, Ubisoft Denies
When you’re a PC gamer, you’re used to terrible ports. I’m on AMD hardware so I get it worse than most. Considering that it’s easier to optimize the game for consoles and, anecdotally, there are more people whose primary gaming platform is a console, it makes sense to prioritize them when launching a game. Not everyone is Rockstar who spent two years perfecting their GTA V PC port.
It’s seldom that companies are up front with information that might make gamers concerned about a PC version of a game so no wonder why Ubisoft sprang into action to backtrack. A developer on Tom Clancy’s The Division told YouTube’s Team Epiphany that Ubisoft Massive had to “keep [The Division] in check with consoles.” Ubisoft quickly fired back with a statement saying “this is simply not true.”
In an interview with Team Epiphany, an anonymous member of the Ubisoft Massive team working on The Division was asked about restrictions from higher up in Ubisoft when it comes to developing for both PC and console.
The developer’s answer started out promisingly saying, “One good thing about The Division is that we’ve always considered PC as a separate platform. I’ve worked on projects before where the PC version’s a port from a console, so it carries those limitations over, but we’ve always been in the mind that we’ll have a dedicated PC build, so it hasn’t really held it back too much.”
He then quickly followed up with the phrase that everyone has keyed in on saying “We do have to kind of keep it in check with consoles because it would kind of be unfair just to push it so far away from them.”
Here’s the video and answer in question. In case it doesn’t start there, the interesting part starts at 13:09.
The interpretation many have made from this interview is that The Division should run well on PC as it has been built for PC (and reports from the beta were generally positive) but Massive could have pushed the game further on the PC in comparison to consoles. The implication drawn is that Ubisoft wanted a console experience comparable to the PC but that PC version could have been better than what it currently is.
Ubisoft responded with a statement reading, “It has come to our attention that a comment from one of our team members has been perceived by some members of the community to imply the PC version of The Division was ‘held back’ and this is simply not true.”
Obviously, we’re never going to know the full story or what the anonymous developer meant by keeping the game in check with the consoles. Neither what the developer said nor what Ubisoft said will really answer any questions as to what could be “held back.” And when it comes to the PC space, Ubisoft has negative goodwill considering years of terrible PC ports. Even if feedback is good on The Division, the track record with PC gives everyone pause when it comes to a Ubisoft game.