Ubisoft's oft-delayed The Division is still launching in March, but you won't be jumping into the beta this month as planned. The publisher has announced it is delaying the testing until early 2016 on all platforms.

If you pre-ordered the game on Xbox One, you'll still be able to give it a go. This week sees closed alpha test on that platform, with priority access going to those who have put down their pre-order money. Others may be invited in as needed to test features.

The alpha will include more than the Dark Zone player-versus-player content previously made available at shows. If you are invited in, you'll be under non-disclosure agreement, with images, video, and even discussion of what's included prohibited.

The test begins on December 9 at 1 a.m. Pacific / 4 a.m. Eastern. It runs until December 12 at 12 a.m. Pacific / 3 a.m. Eastern. All regions except Japan and China can participate. If you're interested, clear off about 24 GB for the download.

The Division is planned for release on March 8 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. For more, check out our most recent preview.

[Source: Ubi Blog]

 

Our Take
I remain skeptical about The Division, as the development has ballooned, the ambitious drone companion app was killed, and the direction seems to be scattershot. I hope I'm wrong, because the premise seems extremely interesting.

From a business perspective, Ubisoft would suffer greatly if it delayed the game again. Pushing The Division out of the fiscal year would have significant impact on the financials, akin to the damage resulting from moving Watch Dogs from one year to the next.