For a game that’s set in a mid-crisis world, with civilization in the midst of a devastating epidemic, you’d think maybe a smidge of The Division’s societal breakdown might spill over into the game’s development process. You might even wonder about any possible tensions that could naturally arise on a global team involving multiple studios around the world.

The Division

The good news: no such tensions exist. At all. Especially when it comes to the recent addition of Red Storm to The Division’s global development team led by Massive Entertainment.

While Massive is running the development of The Division – building everything from their proprietary Snowdrop engine powering the game, to the design of the world, the innovative gameplay systems and the intriguing story – the Swedish studio began to seek out additional Ubisoft studio support last fall. Red Storm was naturally at the top of their list, simply based on their long history with Clancy games. Founded in 1996 with a small team that included Tom Clancy himself, the North Carolina-based studio created the original Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon – and has been an integral part of the Ubisoft development ecosystem since it was acquired in 2000.

But it wasn’t just the proud Clancy legacy that helped bring Red Storm into the fold. One of Massive’s primary needs: developing an authentic arsenal of weapons. “They knew that surely we must have a team here that knows what we’re doing on that front,” says Red Storm Producer Tony Sturtzel. “They were right and our weapons team was available.”

The Division - Red Storm

Indeed, Red Storm has an entire team whose focus is weapons design. “I, personally, have been doing it for about six years now,” says Lead Weapons Designer JD Cragg. “One of the guys on my team has been doing it for almost nine. This is pretty much all I do – authentic military weapons, vehicles and that sort of thing.”

Full Arsenal

So what, exactly, is Red Storm working on? The studio is sworn to secrecy (for now), but we were able to pry free a few enticing details. Red Storm’s primary focus is the artwork for The Division’s weapons. The studio currently has three dedicated artists in North Carolina who are working with a team member in Malmo, Sweden. “He helped pick a list of realistic weapons and common weapons that would appear in the fiction of the game and we started building them from scratch in 3D,” Cragg says of his Malmo counterpart. “So we take the process from a list of assets that we need all the way through to completed artwork.”

The Division - Red Storm

Realism – already a pillar of the overall Clancy brand – is a key component of The Division. And when it comes to realism, Red Storm can make a massive impact on the game. “One of the huge benefits that we have is our connections with local military,” Sturtzel says. Not only does Red Storm have an in-house authenticity department, but the studio also has strong relationships with regional manufacturers, distributors and suppliers, meaning they’re able to get their hands on actual weapons. “We’ve had manufacturers come in and literally disassemble the entire weapon all the way ‘We know that that we can build absolutely the most authentic piece of equipment, right down to the millimeter’ down to the nuts and bolts, and our guys are taking hi-res photos of those things. We probably have unparalleled access to these types of things because of our authenticity department and their focus on relationships. We’re not ever gonna let the cat out of the bag on some of the relationships we have!” It all translates to tens of thousands of photos, terabytes of data – and, as Cragg promises, “the most accurate weapons of any videogame.”

This even extends down to the sounds of the weapons. After all, a next-gen game needs next-gen audio, too. “Our audio guys are some of the luckiest guys in the world,” Sturtzel says. “They get to travel to all these exotic locations and record ambient audio. And then they get to travel to the desert and shoot every gun under the sun. This project will be no different.” The audio quality is so good, according to Cragg, that former military guys can pick out the exact weapon and how far way it was fired, just from the sounds. “It’s spot on,” he says.

Straight Shooting

Of course, realism should never trump fun in a videogame. And despite their relentless focus on realism, Cragg is the first to admit that small concessions can and will be made in order to elevate the fun factor. “Fun is definitely the number one goal,” Cragg tells us. “But as far as the artwork is concerned, we don’t have to make too many concessions there.”

The Division

Part of what makes this process so vibrant, though, is that Red Storm isn’t solely in charge of weapons development. While Massive relies on them for the design work, they remain active when it comes to the gameplay for the weapons. “We know that that we can build absolutely the most authentic piece of equipment, right down to the millimeter,” Sturtzel says. “And the guys who are coming in from the gameplay side maybe want to push the envelope a bit, which is a great jumping off point to push the collaboration, because we have to get together regularly and talk about it from both sides.”

Which brings us back to where we started: With multiple studios working around the globe on a game that’s all about the breakdown of society, has there been any challenges working together?

Nope. Despite a heavy interrogation in both Sweden and North Carolina, we couldn’t find a single crack. “Red Storm is the birthplace of the Tom Clancy game franchise – having them work with us is a fantastic opportunity,” says Fredrik Rundqvist, Executive Producer at Massive. “Their expertise in military hardware, weapons and everything Tom Clancy is second to none in the industry. I really look forward to having them onboard and I am sure they will add a lot of amazing things to the game!”

The Division - Red Storm

“I can’t really say enough about how excited I am to be a part of this collaboration,” Sturtzel smiles. “We’ve so far dealt with nothing but the most professional, talented group of people that I’ve ever worked with. I’m really excited to continue building on that as we go forward in the project.”

Cragg is quick to agree. “Everyone we’ve worked with has been fantastic,” he says. “The guys at Massive are insanely smart.”

For David Polfeldt, the Managing Director at Massive Entertainment, the collaboration isn’t just successful, but also a chance to connect with the studio behind one of his favorite gaming experiences. “One of my best gaming memories is playing the very first Ghost Recon,” Polfeldt says. “Since then I have always been a fan of Red Storm, and it is a great pleasure to end up working with them on The Division. We have a lot in common in terms of heritage and studio culture that makes it very easy for us to collaborate, despite the distances and different time zones. I hope that what we see today is only the beginning of a long and exciting journey together.”

The Division

Prepare for The Division with the latest UbiBlog intel:

The Division – Getting Creative With Snowdrop

The Division – Classless Characters, Second Screens and a Mid-Crisis World

How the Next-Gen Snowdrop Engine Empowers The Division

Tom Clancy's The Divison

Tom Clancy's The Division

Release date — TBA 2015
Developer — Massive Entertainment
A devastating pandemic sweeps through New York City, and one by one, basic services fail. In only days, without food or water, society collapses into chaos. The Division, a classified unit of self-supported tactical agents, is activated. Leading seemingly ordinary lives among us, Division agents are trained to operate independently in order to save society. When society falls, your mission begins.

ESRB Rating: RATING PENDING
the author

Gary Steinman has won numerous editorial awards, but you probably don’t care about that. He also ran multiple industry leading publications and websites including PlayStation: The Official Magazine, GamesRadar.com, PC Gamer and Newtype USA – but that’s all in the past. The real truth about Gary? He loves cats, he takes too many selfies on Facebook (according to one co-worker, at least), and he occasionally crochets. And now he’s helping share stories about Ubisoft’s amazing games and their incredible creators in his role overseeing the UbiBlog and other select Ubisoft social channels. Follow him on Twitter: @GarySteinman

36 Readers Commented

Join discussion
  1. Andres on April 9, 2014
    Please bring this game to Wii U
    • Kevin on April 9, 2014
      Ha...so laughable. The Wii U would burn up just trying to boot the game up...hahaha.
      • Somber on April 9, 2014
        Hey. Don't be rude.
        • Sam on April 16, 2014
          Ask a dumb question, get a dumb answer
          • Chris on May 9, 2014
            First of all, the individual didn't ask a question, they made a statement. Secondly, if the sole purpose of some of your responses here is to beleaguer the user and not give any productive feedback - don't bother commenting. Your purpose is simply to feed your own egotistical insecurities by putting another person down.In response to the user:Unfortunately - the Wii U lacks the hardware specifications necessary to run Snowdrop in any next-gen high-res context. Perhaps a version of the game could be made for the Wii U, but it certainly wouldn't be the polished, refined content you saw in the trailers. So I highly doubt Ubisoft would bother given the goals and circumstances of this particular release. The game will be released for the PS4, Xbox One and PC. Now may be a good time to upgrade your PC or purchase a console meant for the more hardware intensive games -- whichever is cheaper. Good luck!
    • Michael on April 9, 2014
      I hope you are just kidding.
      • Demetri on April 9, 2014
        Pls bring on ps3
  2. Demetri on April 9, 2014
    Pls bring far cry 4on ps3
    • Jimmy on April 9, 2014
      why the hell would you post that on this page, lol. dumb as$. totally irrelevant
  3. Demetri on April 9, 2014
    Pls still make ps 3 games so many people in South Africa still have a ps 3
  4. Lance on April 9, 2014
    Great article!!! Isn't Reflections also working on the division. I'd love to hear about their involvement.
    • Gary Steinman | Communications Manager Author on April 9, 2014
      Thanks, Lance! We'll have more info on other studios at a later date. Today, we're celebrating Red Storm's involvement with The Division.
  5. CDR on April 9, 2014
    Is The Division coming out on PC? I hope so because it looks awesome.
    • Gary Steinman | Communications Manager Author on April 9, 2014
      It is most definitely coming to PC.
      • Gavin on April 10, 2014
        Yet another timeline dodge!
  6. Phinx on April 9, 2014
    When will the day come its available to pre-order?
    • Gary Steinman | Communications Manager Author on April 9, 2014
      As soon as it comes, we'll share that news! And then I'll be preordering my own copy!
  7. Leo on April 9, 2014
    Come on guys, can we get bigger size image and screenshot :D
  8. Vignesh on April 10, 2014
    Please bring it on PS3...
  9. Alvaro on April 10, 2014
    Hi there folks!I'm glad to see how it's going! looks awesome guys! i'm so eager to get one as soon as it's released. In my opinion this game could be a new start-point for Ubisoft for a stunning new saga of games and make some history. Now waiting for more info like how long is the campaing mode (in hours), how many players for the multi, hardware minimun specifications to run it in Medium/high quality... (obviously Wii would be out, mate..., and probably PS3/Xbox 360, I guess DirectX 11 will be required and 11.1 much better)Cheers!
    • Gary Steinman | Communications Manager Author on April 10, 2014
      All great questions, Alvaro. We've announced that The Division is next-gen and PC only. The PC specs and the additional gameplay details will come later. Stay tuned!
  10. Thomas Long on April 10, 2014
    Will you be showcasing the game at E3 this year? would love to see the frostbite engine in action again! im sure im not the only one, it looks amazing :0
    • Gary Steinman | Communications Manager Author on April 10, 2014
      We haven't announced what we'll be showing at E3 yet, but we'll have more info on our E3 presence soon.
      • Thomas Long on April 11, 2014
        Can you confirm you will be at E3 this year showcasing the game in any way shape or form ?
  11. Eyan S on April 10, 2014
    G36C 750 RPM and we'll be best buds FOE LYFE!!!!
  12. GiochiMMO on April 11, 2014
    Absolutely brilliant.
  13. milad on April 11, 2014
    When this game will be released?
    • Gary Steinman | Communications Manager Author on April 11, 2014
      We haven't announced the release date yet.
  14. Andres Candela on April 11, 2014
    GARY STEINMAN is it comeing to Wii U
    • Gary Steinman | Communications Manager Author on April 11, 2014
      We've announced The Division on PS4, Xbox One and PC.
  15. Chris p Bacon on April 12, 2014
    Will you be able to establish a home were you and your friends will always spawn in the game and if so will you be able to store your supplies at your base.
  16. Casper DaGhost on April 16, 2014
    Hey Red Storm! This game looks amazing, and I'm glad to hear you are working on it. Remember your origins. Fun is the primary goal in games, but everyone seems to be making "senseless" shooters these days. Your group has gotten this far by being different in a good way. Keep it a bit more on the realistic side, and I believe many gamers will be happier as a result. Suggestions: 1. Remember the old-school guns. Not every home will have a fully decked out AR-15 in the closet. Older people may have a hunting shotgun, or an old handgun they have had for years. 2. I am a huge fan of Tom Clancy books and games, it would be amazing to have one game or book store with every Red Storm game or Tom Clancy book in it. It would be an amazing tribute to him and his fans.Thanks and good luck!
  17. miu on April 18, 2014
    Shut up and take my money!
  18. miu on April 18, 2014
    How many weapons players can carry -on? Can be like TLOU as weapons on player‘s back ?sorry ,google translate
  19. bring back rainbow six ’98 on May 17, 2014
    UBI please sell the tom clancy rights. you've ruined it for many years now.
  20. NicoRosberg on July 3, 2014
    Кто такой Игорь Александрович Волошин

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