Ubisoft's planned free-to-play Division game is dead

The company is focusing on open-world and live-service games.

REUTERS / Reuters

Just over three years ago, Ubisoft announced The Division Heartland, a free-to-play entry in its survival-action shooter series. At the time, it suggested that Heartland would arrive later in 2021 or in 2022, but that never happened. In fact, Heartland isn't coming out at all.

In its quarterly earnings report, Ubisoft said it ended development of the game, which Red Storm Entertainment, a studio that author Tom Clancy co-founded, was working on. Ubisoft is shifting resources to what it calls "bigger opportunities," including other aspects of the Clancyverse in XDefiant and the Rainbow Six series.

Ubisoft canceled a number of games over the last couple of years to try and streamline its pipeline and reduce costs. It noted that it had reduced its headcount by more than 1,700 workers over 18 months to have 19,011 employees at the end of March.

The company also provided an update on its overarching strategy. It plans to focus on two core pillars: open=world titles (like Assassin's Creed Shadows and Star Wars Outlaws) and ongoing live-service games (XDefiant and Rainbow Six Siege). That's where Ubisoft sees room for growth, so expect more Far Cry and Ghost Recon titles in the coming years.

As for the more immediate future, we'll find out the latest about the likes of AC Shadows, Star Wars Outlaws, Rainbow Six Mobile (which should finally arrive in September), The Division Resurgence and XDefiant at Ubisoft Forward on June 10.