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The Division Heartland isn’t dead, but it’s not the game you remember

The Division Heartland has had a torrid development cycle, and rumors of the PS5 and Xbox game’s cancellation have been circulating.

The Division Heartland alive: a man wearing a cap and face mask opening a container, next to a man firing a rifle from behind sandbags

The Division Heartland lives! Ubisoft’s heavily-delayed extraction shooter has been silently cooking away since our last peek at it almost a year ago. According to a fresh report, it’s going to be quite a different beast when Ubi shares more, hopefully offering up something substantial on its upcoming live service venture on PS5 and Xbox.

“I’ve seen a lot of people wondering if The Division Heartland has been canned or not – it hasn’t,” Insider Gaming’s Tom Henderson tweets, “but it has gone through some significant changes since we last heard about it.” What this means for division agent MacKenzie Reid and Silver Creek in the multiplayer game is currently unclear, though we can imagine the core pillars of its narrative will remain relatively untouched.

The Division Heartland has had a challenging development cycle, to say the least. Originally announced in 2021, the extraction shooter had an initial release window deadline sometime in 2022. After being pushed back to work on beta feedback, Ubi offered up a developer gameplay overview and a new cinematic intro trailer in April last year. Since then, it’s been mostly crickets for the new PS5 game and new Xbox game.

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However, November brought with it news that Heartland had been rated in Taiwan, offering fresh hope that it will finally be released this year. Henderson says he’s looking to “pin down more details,” so hopefully we’ll learn more soon – be it through official channels (hello, Ubisoft Forward on June 10), or otherwise.

We can’t help but feel the timing for The Division Heartland release date, alongside its series of delays, is going to work against it. Since 2022 we’ve seen a major increase in the number of extraction shooter announcements pop up, with the likes of Exoborne, Arc Raiders, and Marathon all looking to get in on the action. And with the live service landscape as competitive as it is, Heartland is going to have to be something special to survive.

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Additionally, Ubisoft’s history of delaying major releases, only for them to fail, is a perhaps more talismanic correlation than an accurate predictor of Heartland’s future – Red Storm knows how to cook, after all. Conversely, we saw how the development Grim Reaper came for quadruple-A disasterclass Skull and Bones, as well as the enjoyable but forgettable Roller Champions in recent years, so it’s hard to remain confident.

The Division Heartland’s not the only Ubisoft shooter currently stuck in development purgatory, either. The long-delayed XDefiant has finally been greenlit for another server test after last year’s XDefiant release date setback. At the very least, you’ll be able to snag some sweet XDefiant rewards this weekend while you wait on that one. It’s looking real cagey for Ubi right now, but hopefully one of its upcoming live service games will land with players.

If extraction shooters are your thing, then you should definitely check out our coverage of Exoborne from this year’s Game Developers Conference. You can read up on how Exoborne wants to recreate Helldivers 2’s lightning in a bottle and how Sharkmob plans to make sure it stands out among its peers in the sub-genre.