The presence of numerous bugs, glitches, exploits and lackluster end-game content is finally catching up to The Division. While Ubisoft Entertainment SA (EPA:UBSFY) touted the game to be a wrecking ball for Bungie’s Destiny, regular emergence of a series of technical issues have drastically hampered the experience of a post-apocalyptic New York City.
On Reddit, a user posted Steam stats to reveal that the total player-base of The Division has shrunk by a massive 81% since the game’s launch. Released on March 8, 2016, the online open-world third-person shooter recorded a peak player-base of 114,225. However, the numbers have since then dwindled to a measly 22,130 as of last week.
Comparing the first three weeks of release between The Division and Dark Souls III, FromSoftware’s new brutal installment saw to a drop of only 39 percent, whereas The Division faced shrinkage of 53 percent.
It has to be pointed out that the numbers have been taken from Steam, and it’s possible that the player-base playing the game directly through Uplay is omitted from this comparison. Nonetheless, these are damning figures for any developer. Considering how Ubisoft has long-term plans for The Division, such a drastic fall in the total number of players is worrisome.
Within just three weeks of its release, players started reporting about a game-breaking bug that completely locked them out of the game. Ubisoft had no other choice but to ask them to be patient for the much hyped April update, which promised to fix this and many other issues. To add insult to injury, the anti-cheat system in place for the PC version has proven to be mediocre.
It has rather become a norm to see bugs and exploits continue to surface with regularity. It’s a vicious cat-and-mouse game between the players and developers. No sooner does Ubisoft amend one issue when the players quickly find another exploit to the same bug. Over on Reddit, many players have confessed to having ditched the game for a majority of April.
Currently, The Division is in a much better state compared to the last month. However, it is still being plagued with issues. Only recently, its Daily Challenges started disappearing. Even though a hotfix was released, they vanished again just yesterday for a second time.
Ubisoft needs to quickly sort out its priorities so that it can wash The Division with clean code.