The Division Heartland cancelled as Ubisoft lays off 1,700 people in 18 months

The Division Heartland cancelled as Ubisoft lays off 1,700 people in 18 months

The Division Heartland no longer exists (Ubisoft)

Ubisoft is looking to save £170 million in the next two years, as it cancels free-to-play spin-off The Division Heartland.

Just when you think the mass layoffs that have swept across the games industry are over, along comes another financial report and there’s yet more misery for developers. Although the results for Ubisoft show that much of the damage has already been done, with the company having quietly laid off 1,700 staff over the course of the last year and a half.

That’s still not enough for them though, as they’re aiming for €200 million (£172 million) in cost reductions by 2026 and that includes the cancellation of free-to-play title The Division Heartland.

The game was announced back in 2021 and has been in development for three years in total. Strangely, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said that the game didn’t fit with the company’s focus on open world adventures or live service titles, even though it was assumed to be both.

Only a small amount of gameplay footage ever leaked out for the game, which looked very similar to the first two titles, so it’s not at all clear why Heartland has been cancelled. Other than perhaps development simply wasn’t going very well.

‘After careful consideration, we have made the tough call to halt development on Tom Clancy’s The Division Heartland, effective immediately. Our priority now is to support the talented team members at our Red Storm Entertainment studio, who will be transitioning to new projects within our company, including XDefiant and Rainbow Six,’ is all Ubisoft has said officially.

Although that doesn’t seem to bode well for The Division franchise in general, not only is there a mobile spin-off still on the way but last September Ubisoft confirmed they were working on The Division 3 – although it won’t be released for several years.

Like every other games company recently, Ubisoft has been trying to cut costs and that’s lead to not only mass redundancies but the cancellation of several games, including an apparent sequel to Immortals Fenyx Rising 2 and the never-properly-announced Project Q.

Several other unannounced games have also been cancelled, along with a VR Splinter Cell game and Ghost Recon Frontline – although the latter was more because fans campaigned against it.

According to Guillemot, Ubisoft is now ‘back on track’, with record annual and quarterly net bookings (basically revenue), although operating income was down on last year.

Despite appearing to be a flop, Ubisoft claims that Skull And Bones saw ‘strong engagement’ and the second-best daily playtime for any Ubisoft title. That only seems to be based on how things were directly after launch, but apparently a Season 2 is coming, with new solo and PvE modes.

The Crew Motorfest also seemed to be quickly forgotten about after launch, but according to Ubisoft it has outperformed The Crew 2.

More Trending

Read More Stories

As with other publishers, Ubisoft’s current plan is to make less but bigger games, which creates very obvious dangers if any of them fail – as well as making it even riskier to try anything new or unusual.

Its upcoming slate includes Star Wars Outlaws, the recently unveiled Assassin’s Creed Shadows, XDefiant, Rainbow Six Mobile, and mobile title The Division Resurgence.

‘We have made the choice to play to our strengths and are sharpening our strategic focus on two verticals, Open World Adventures and GaaS [games as a service, aka live service titles] native experiences,’ reads the financial report.

‘This focus not only offers profitable growth and recurrence prospects but also allows us to leverage and better cross-fertilise Ubisoft’s established brands as well as ongoing targeted investments in proprietary technologies to reach and sustain a competitive advantage.’

One of the most important of these proprietary technologies is AI, which the company is planning to use both to make the games and to create more interactive non-player characters.

Email, leave a comment below, follow us on Twitter, and sign-up to our newsletter.

MORE : Assassin’s Creed Shadows is final name for Codename Red reveals Ubisoft

MORE : Watch Dogs franchise is ‘dead and buried’ but Far Cry isn’t says Ubisoft insider

MORE : Skull And Bones is a quadruple-A video game says Ubisoft as it defends £70 price tag

Follow Metro Gaming on Twitter and email us at

To submit Inbox letters and Reader’s Features more easily, without the need to send an email, just use our Submit Stuff page here.

For more stories like this, check our Gaming page.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *