Update: In response to my inquiries about the state of DLC and microtransactions in The Division, Ubisoft issued a statement saying that Phoenix Credits, the game's currency, are "purely an in-game mechanic" and cannot be purchased with real money.
"In Tom Clancy's The Division, there is no in-game currency that you can buy with real-world money," it said. "There will be DLC packs available through first party stores containing customization items, but these are optional and limited to items that have no influence on gameplay. An example of this are themed outfits for the agent's customization slots."
It still sounds like a rose by any other name to me: If you can drop a buck or two on a new outfit, hairstyle, or horse armor, then that's a microtransaction, and it really doesn't matter whether you're making it within the game using "credits," or in an external online store with your credit card.
Original story: With just over a week to go until The Division brings its instanced take on the end of the world to your PC, there's still confusion about whether or not the game will offer microtransactions. Ubisoft Community Manager Natchai Stappers recently took to Twitter to state that it will not, but his wording seems to have raised more questions than it answered.
@Tovarisc_ There will be no microtransactions, and definitely no P2WFebruary 26, 2016
It seems odd to me that he would emphasize the absence of “pay to win,” since that should go without saying if there are no microtransactions, and thus nothing to pay for in the first place. Muddying the waters even further, Ubisoft told Eurogamer in mid-January that “there will be no microtransactions at all. Not even for vanity items. Vanity items will be sold as DLC, through the regular first-party stores.”
So it's clear that Ubisoft will offer separately purchasable content for The Division, which gives this “no microtransactions” claim the appearance of Riddler-like quibbling over words: When is DLC not a microtransaction? I've asked Ubisoft for clarification and will update if I receive a reply. Otherwise, we'll find out next week: The Division comes out on March 8.