The Division will be one of the most popular games on Twitch in 2016
I am going to go out on a limb here and make a bold prediction, I think that The Division will be one of the most popular games on Twitch in 2016.
I love the idea of games like DayZ, Ark and H1Z1 but all three titles have left me disappointed. Now I am left constantly searching for a new title which fills a similar idea and I hope that The Division with the second expansion pack “Survival” will bring some elements of survival to the game. That’s one of the reasons why I pre-purchased The Division before it’s release date with all of the DLC packs included, fingers crossed my hopes will be realised later this year.
So let’s look at the reasons why I think The Division will be one of the most popular games on Twitch in 2016.
1. It’s an MMO, kinda…
Sure, The Division isn’t really listed as being an MMO by Ubisoft but the game is pretty much an MMO. The Division allows for many players to be in the same instance as they explore and fight for survival in New York City. It may be a shooter style based game but it certainly has MMO style elements, even if there’s not hundreds of players in the same instance.
The Dark Zone currently allows up to 24 players in a single instance and players can form clans with each other. Clans or guilds are typical of MMO’s and rumours suggest that they may add official clan support in game, but nothing has been confirmed yet. You can still find people to play with easily and join a Division clan here: http://divisionclans.com/clan/listing
There is a character progression system, a large number of players in a single instance, NPCs to grind in and out of the the Dark Zone, a PvP area, the ability to play as a clan and a large world to explore. Sounds a lot like an MMO to me. All of the above means people will invest many hours into this game.
2. More content is on the way
Ubisoft has already announced some of their expansion plans for The Division. With free updates adding more game content and features and also paid expansion packs coming later in the year. Plus many people have already pre-purchased these expansion packs, myself included. I expect that the new expansions will also allow players to continue to level up their characters allowing players to have a charter more powerful than the current max level of 30. The names of the first three major expansion packs for the game have been revealed along with some very limited details about them:
Expansion I: Underground (June 2016)
In the first major purchasable expansion Ubisoft will be adding a new territory to the game where squads of four players can explore and complete missions in a huge underground network of tunnels under New York City. Players will be going up against brand new NPC characters, grabbing new loot items and continuing the campaign story mode.
Expansion II: Survival (Summer 2016)
I really really hope this expansion will bring some survival elements from games like DayZ and H1Z1 into The Division. Not much information has been released yet. People are speculating all kinds of ideas. The Division website says:
“Available this summer, this expansion will challenge players to survive as long as possible by gathering essential supplies in a very hostile environment.”
Expansion III: Last Stand (Winter 2016)
Again not much is known about this update, people are claiming zombies will be added to the game probably because of the following sentence found in the official trailer:
“A new threat is rising in the third expansion Last Stand. You and your squad must prepare to defend against a relentless foe.”
The game already has that zombie apocalypse feel and the artwork contains a skull as the face of The Statue of Liberty which makes people belive that the iconic statue may appear in a new playable area of the game. It’s many months away and only time will tell.
Smaller free DLC updates
Smaller free DLC updates will be released throughout the games lifespan to enhance the campaign mode and also the PvP Dark Zone area. The next free update will be coming out on the 12th of April which will add new features such as loot trading.
3. It is like Destiny but better
Destiny was one of the most played and viewed games last year on Twitch placing it in the top 10. Destiny is an unrealistic first person shooter set in the future where the last humans fight to protect the dwindling human population; it allows for clans to work together in the campaign mode and go to war in the PvP zones, you level up your character and find rare loot. Sounds a lot like The Division, right?
The Division meanwhile is set in a gritty, realistic world in the aftermath of a devastating plague which has wiped out the majority of New York City. The world is dark and provides a level of realism most shooter fans will recognise however unlike Destiny, The Division is a third person shooter where as Destiny is a first person shooter.
Between the two of them, in my opinion The Division has the stronger PvP area which is organic, evolving and tense. Players are forced to make uncertain alliances with other players to survive against the powerful NPC characters or to counter attacks from other enemy players. This is much like the Battle Royal mode (Now called H1Z1: King of the Kill) found in H1Z1 which was another top 10 game on Twitch last year.
The Division has a lot of potential for streamers; the PvP area will evolve constantly and in my opinion the differences between this and and Destiny will give it a small edge.
4. Its really well made and polished
The Division looks fantastic, there is no doubt about it. The streets of New York City are an almost exact replica of the real city. It’s a dark and gritty world mixed in with the bright lights of Christmas themed decorations which were still left in place after the plague hit the city.
There are plenty of options to look at and experiment with to get a decent level of performance vs perfect graphics for enjoying the environment and it will run on most modern computers; streaming can be CPU intensive so it’s a must for streamers to get good performance when streaming.
Besides the amazing graphics, the game runs smoothly with few bugs and great gameplay flow. The controls for the game work well and the response from the input is extremely fast which is great for those looking to play it ‘seriously’ with their squad. It feels great, it looks great and the game play is fun which leads me on to my next point.
5. The Dark Zone is fun
There’s a lot of features in The Division to try out, utilize and explore with to make you stronger as a solo player in the campaign and provides an edge in the Dark Zone. Players can pick up strong items in the campaign solo world and there are rare items which can be found in the Dark Zone.
Items in the Dark Zone are contaminated and have to be extracted before the player can actually use them; once the item is extracted it’s then safe for the player to die, if they die before the items are extracted then any contaminated items will be dropped. They need to be extracted at extraction zones in the Dark Zone, naturally there could be players there looking to kill other players and steal their loot before they extract it so they can have it for themselves.
The Division uses a proximity voice chat and text chat system which makes the Dark Zone even more tense; players can communicate with each other without needing to accept a friends request for voice chat. It makes the Dark Zone incredibly tense when using a microphone and a lot more entertaining as teams need to sometimes avoid communication altogether or risk being overheard by the enemy.
6. Its on all the major platforms
The Divisions is easy to access. Players can buy versions for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One or for the PC which all have streaming capabilities with or without additional hardware. It does force players to use the Ubisoft game platform Uplay, which is not well loved by gamers but at least it provides achievements and special game-based rewards. Some games are not big on Twitch simply because they are not on all the major platforms so they are unable to complete with games that are.
7. The Division had the biggest first week ever for a new game franchise
That’s right! The Division launch smashed it and not only is it Ubisoft’s best-selling game straight out of the gate but it also had the biggest first week ever for a new game franchise and generated over $330 million globally in its first five days. The game was reported to of have 1.2 million peak concurrent users over the first weekend, and over 100 million hours played in the first week. These kind of numbers begin to give you an idea of how many people enjoyed the beta and wanted to jump straight into the initial release.
The Final Word!
The Division has been in the top 10 games since it was released at the start of March. It’s still highly popular right now for both streamers and viewers; with the upcoming new content which will be released throughout the year, it looks like The Division should stay in the top 10 most watched games for quite some time. People will invest any hours in to the game and I think it will replace similar older titles such as Destiny to become one of the most watched games on Twitch in 2016.