The Division started as an idea at Ubisoft Massive, but three more of Ubisoft's major studios ended up heavily involved with the project: Ubisoft Reflections, Ubisoft Annecy, and Red Storm Entertainment. Red Storm is where the Tom Clancy's video game brand began (it was co-founded by the late Mr. Clancy himself), and GR+ social editor Anthony Agnello and myself talked to two of its employees about how they contributed to this, ahem, Massive undertaking on GR+ Live.
"With the case of this project, Ubisoft Massive and headquarters were the ones who got together and said, 'alright, we want to do a Clancy RPG," Red Storm producer Tony Sturtzel explained. From there,Massive began work on The Division's impressive Snowdrop engine, and started reaching out to other studios like Red Storm as work on the game proper began.
If you're familiar with Red Storm's previous games, including the original Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six, you may not be surprised to learn that they're Ubisoft's resident gun experts (which is good, because The Division has a lot of guns): "They come to us, and we started with weapons and eventually rolled into environment artists and everybody from audio guys to designers, narrative," Sturtzel said, with "basically every profile" working on the game by the end.
Ubisoft has branches on six continents - Red Storm is in Cary, North Carolina, Massive is in Malmö, Sweden, and I wouldn't be surprised if Ubi went for an Antarctic localization office just to complete the set - so the company has put a lot of time and money into making an effective working environment out of basically the entire world. Sturtzel thinks the arrangement has really hit its stride for this generation of games with The Division.
"And so I think the other thing we're starting to see with some of this, especially the new current-gen projects, is we're standing on a solid foundation for these collaborations now," Sturtzel said. "We have the infrastructure in place, we have the best practices in place."
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