The Division on PC Already Downgraded in Terms of Visuals to Match PS4, Xbox One – Report

Insider source claims Massive Entertainment is being pressured by Ubisoft

A brand new report has appeared online allegedly from an employee of Massive Entertainment, the developer of the upcoming The Division MMO, which claims that Ubisoft has forced the studio to downgrade some of the visual effects seen in the PC edition of the game, in order to not make the game look better than on PS4 or Xbox One.

The Division was revealed to the world last year as a next-gen multiplayer experience, and its first gameplay demonstration running on PC showed some stunning visuals powered by Massive's proprietary Snowdrop engine.

Now, however, in the midst of the Watch Dogs graphics downgrade controversy, a new report has appeared claiming that Ubisoft is pressuring Massive to turn off some of the great-looking visual effects used by The Division on PC, so that it looks closer to the PS4 or Xbox One versions of the game.

"Currently as it stands, there is definitely a lot of push coming from publishers to not make the experience so different on consoles as to alienate people into thinking that next generation is not as powerful as PC. This is probably what happened at Ubisoft Montreal. I think that while making stability changes is definitely important, it does not completely obliterate a lot of enhanced rendering applications," the source told WhatIfGaming.

Apparently, Massive has already been forced to remove some of the high-quality screen space reflections and must optimize the assets so that they fit the PS4 and Xbox One consoles.

"To me it still looks good, but not as good as the original reveal. I am sure as we get closer to launch and the actual console versions of the game featuring SD (Snowdrop) that it will start to seem all too obvious to people especially those on PCs. I just wanted to write and let you know that it definitely is not just stability but marketing politics plays into this a lot as well."

According to the source, Ubisoft is now using an excuse for the downgrades that relates to the stability of the game, even if that might not actually be true.

"They will not admit that they practice this or actively downgrade a game. It is much easier to say they removed things for stability which is often a lie as you can tell by the post-issues which are expected in any production we do."

What's more, since consumer legislation doesn't require Ubisoft to reveal what sort of changes it made to a game on release as opposed to the work in progress demonstrations, the company won't voluntarily say just how much it has tampered with the initial graphics.

As of yet, this is just a report but, considering recent controversies surrounding Ubisoft, it wouldn't be that surprising if this turned out to be true.

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