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Ubisoft Claiming The Division’s Player Counts Are Back to Launch Numbers

Steam’s Stats Show Growth, But Actual Player Counts Far From Launch Numbers

November 30, 2016 by

Until just recently, The Division’s 97% drop in players since launching in March made a good case for it being the the runner-up for 2016’s biggest bomb right behind No Man’s Sky. Now, after the recent underperforming launch of Watch Dogs 2, Ubisoft is back to promoting The Division and touting a recent influx of players that the developer/publisher claims has returned the game to its original launch numbers.

Ubisoft’s VP of Live Operations, Anne Blondel, said recently via Gamespot: “Since the release of patch 1.4, we went back to the daily active users we had at launch, because people were [so impressed].” And while the numbers have in fact gone up after the latest Survival content update and 50% off sale on Steam, Ubisoft’s latest claim doesn’t hold up when taking a look at the actual player counts on Steam — which GitHyp has been tracking every hour since The Division’s launch.

At its peak over the past week, The Division hit 24.4k concurrent players on Steam – a 74% increase compared to the 6.3k peak one month ago and a 92% increase from two months prior — but far from the original peak of 113k players. Comparing the averages yields the same results with The Division currently pulling in around 15k players per hour after having around 75k pph during its launch week.

The-Division-Ubisoft-Launch-Number-Claim-graph

The Division‘s Average Players Per Hour Data via GitHyp

Whether counting highs, lows, or average players per hour each day, you would have to go almost two full months after The Division’s launch to actually see player count levels at the same levels as they are now as you can see in the graph.

But this hasn’t been the first time that Ubisoft has been quick to share misleading positive player numbers with the media after GitHyp broke the news of The Division‘s decline. Back in August, Ubisoft boasted about Rainbow Six: Siege‘s player counts increasing by 40% after the release of new DLC. What wasn’t mentioned by Ubisoft was that Siege had a free-to-play weekend to help drive up the numbers and that the player counts dropped back down to almost exactly where they were before the 40% increase just two weeks later.

With the Steam Autumn sale now over, there’s not likely to be another surge of new players until the next price cut. But with more new content on the way, the current player counts could hold around 10-20k per hour… which is enough to keep The Division hovering around Steam’s top 25 games, but still a long way away from the initial player numbers during its first week when it debuted at #3… and looking back at The Division’s history shows that previous “big” updates weren’t enough to stop the playerbase from quickly declining.

Update 11/30/2016:  Ubisoft’s Anne Blondel is now saying that her previous statement on The Division‘s player count numbers was a miscommunication: “This was a miscommunication – what I meant to say is the numbers for The Division are trending back in a positive direction. Thanks to what we’ve seen with patch 1.4 and other updates the team has delivered. What I should have said is, we think it’s possible that The Division follows a similar pattern to Rainbow Six: Siege, which has seen increasing engagement to the point that DAU numbers have equaled those we saw during the launch period.”

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