The Division 2 kicks off year 2 with a paid, “narrative-driven” expansion: Warlords of New York

Ubisoft is bringing a big shakeup to The Division 2 as we head into the game’s first anniversary. The big release of Episode 3 is just a prelude to the year two content, which begins in March with a paid expansion: Warlords of New York. The “narrative-driven” add-on will take us back to New York City, and there are much more sweeping changes afoot for the game.

Warlords of New York will take place in Lower Manhattan, described as a former Dark Zone that’s been hit hard by a hurricane, and now serves as the base of operations for rogue Division agent Aaron Keener. New zones will include landmarks like Two Bridges, Chinatown, and Wall Street. You’ll have to take down Keener’s team of Rogue Agents – each one has a unique skill that you steal when you beat them, Mega Man-style.

A full-on paid expansion is a notable divergence from Ubisoft’s previous monetisation model for The Division 2, which included smaller, free updates that players could pay for early access to. So is this the path for all future Division 2 content releases?

“My honest answer is that we are really just focusing on what we’re doing now,” world producer Lionel Le Dain tells us. “If you had asked me last year when The Division 2 launched I would have told you the same thing. We released The Division 2 and watched to see how the community reacted, and now we’re releasing Warlords of New York and seeing how the community reacts. That’s how we’re working here, we’re really working like that.”

Warlords of New York goes live on March 3, and will be available as a standalone purchase, bundled with new versions of the original game, or as part of a Uplay+ subscription. These purchases will come with a level boost that will let you jump into the New York content straight away – you’ve got to be at level 30 and World Tier 5 to play the new stuff. The new level cap will be set at 40.

Alongside the new expansion, Title Update 8 will bring us both an “RPG overhaul” and battle passes – you can follow those links for more details on both. On top of all that, February 19 (or February 12 for Year 1 pass owners) will see the launch of Episode 3, which now has an official title of Coney Island: The Hunt.

The space for multiplayer games isn’t getting any less crowded, but it looks like The Division 2’s making some big moves to bring in players who’ve lapsed since launch. We don’t have very long to wait before we find out how the new content strategy will pay off.