Ubisoft has detailed its post-release plans for massively multiplayer online shooter Tom Clancy's The Division, ending months of speculation. Following the game's release on PS4, Xbox One and PC next week (8 March), Ubisoft will the first free update in April and a second in May, before three paid expansions.
"In April, the first free update will introduce the first incursion, a new challenging end-game activity developed specifically for squad play," reads Ubisoft's press release. "Teams will be able to test their skills as they face seemingly unstoppable enemies to gain high-level weapons and equipment.
"This update will also add one of the community's most-wanted features, loot trading, allowing players in the same group to trade loot collected during a co-op game session. In May, the second free update will add new features to the Dark Zone and add a new incursion in the iconic Columbus Circle."
The Dark Zone is The Division's dog-eat-dog player versus player (PVP) area, which offers better rewards to gamers who venture there. This is where players can team up, but also compete and turn against one another.
The first of the three expansions will arrive in June. Called Underground, it will "let players explore the uncharted underworld of New York City. Players will chase deadly enemies with up to three other agents through an endless maze of tunnels and subways."
Expansion two will arrive in the summer, with expansion three following toward the end of the year. No information regarding pricing was announced, but all expansions fall under the game's season pass.
The Division takes place in New York City after the outbreak of a deadly virus knocked the US for six and destabilised the government. Players play as customisable Agents, members of the eponymous Division, an organisation that hopes to bring order to a chaotic Manhattan.
In terms of gameplay, The Division is most like Bungie's Destiny, taking place in a persistent online world that Ubisoft hopes will foster a large audience it can keep playing for months, even years to come with updates both free and paid-for.