Back in January we reported that The Division would not see release in 2014, (via an anonymous developer source): "The game engine works well, it's not done but works well. The actual game development has barely started, however."
With this announcement fresh in mind, we've been updated by our source on where the game is currently, with Ubisoft bringing in several external developers to the project (Reflections and Red Storm confirmed), and an increased budget to ensure a fantastic end result.
"The Division is without a doubt one of the most ambitious game projects of all time and our publisher has naturally realised this. We've been given increased resources, we're hiring lots at the moment and are given a lot of help from other Ubisoft teams which is going to be needed if we are to deliver a finished game by next fall. Sadly I still think that the date is a tad bit optimistic as we still don't have a functioning game and still have massive problems making our multiplayer component work at the concept stage. At the same time both we and our publisher are incredibly happy with our game engine and Ubisoft will naturally make use of it in lots of upcoming titles."
There has also been talks of Massive shifting focus from the PlayStation 4 to Xbox One after pressure from Microsoft, something that our source denies.
"That's not correct. PlayStation 4 is the more powerful hardware and we feel it is easier to develop for. Snowdrop works better on PS4 and even if Microsoft do want us to shift lead platform that's not something that has happened."
During the conversation we learnt that Massive have major issues with cross-platform features for multiplayer and that Uncharted 3 has served as inspiration for the animations in the game. Apparently more than 1000 minor movements are triggered as the player crouches down behind a car door, behind a garbage can or skips over a stone. The animations in The Division are described as the best ever in an action game - something that does little to help ease the pain of having to wait for it.
Finally our source tells us of how annoyed people at the studio were at Ubisoft without consulting with Massive when they revealed a 2014 street date at last year's E3.
"It felt like being punched in the face to be perfectly honest. At the end of the day we don't want to do a Battlefield 4 and release an unfinished game. There's too much potential in the concept that is The Division at the moment, that we've asked for more time and resources in order to fully realise this fantastic vision."