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When Is Guaranteed Beta Access Not A Guarantee? When It’s The Division

by Mike Futter on Jan 29, 2016 at 10:14 AM

Ubisoft has just alerted fans that The Division beta is getting full. Here’s what you need to know if you’re waiting on a key.

The publisher says it "can no longer guarantee access." Those who have pre-ordered but not received their access could be getting one tomorrow. Another batch is being sent out, and Ubisoft says it is coordinating with its retail partners to ensure that they get into your hands.

If you requested one but haven’t pre-ordered yet, you may still see one show up. Ubisoft says it is trying to get as many people in as possible.

What Ubisoft isn’t saying (though we’ve inquired about it) is what happens if you attempt to purchase the game digitally right now. Xbox Live, PSN, and Steam purchases are supposed to grant access without a code. If the beta is your prime impetus for pre-ordering or pre-purchasing right now, you might want to wait. 

Ubisoft has said since the start on its FAQ that there are limited numbers of guaranteed access codes. However, in promotional material, the company touted that it would guarantee spots for those that pre-order from eligible retailers. There is no disclaimer that codes are limited on this page, for instance.

Click to enlarge.

However, the Steam page for the game mentions both "guaranteed" access but also "depends on availability in each territories [sic]." This is a new definition of "guaranteed" with which we are not familiar. We’ll update as soon as we know more, but wanted to get this out to you as soon as possible.

[Source: Ubisoft (1), (2), (3)]


Our Take
With The Division in such high demand after a long development cycle, it’s not a surprise that the beta is filled with eager players. However, Ubisoft’s promise of guaranteed access is a contradiction. It’s fine to include exemptions and disclaimers on offers (including enticements like beta access), but they need to be prominent and on the same page.