The Division 2 could have been set in Seattle or New Orleans

As we first learned at E3, The Division 2 will be set in Washington, D.C. Speaking at this week's Gamescom conference in Cologne, however, publisher Ubisoft said Seattle and New Orleans were also once in the frame. 

"First off, D.C. wasn't always set in stone as the choice of the game," lead level designer Manny Diaz tells Tom at Gamescom. "We considered places like Seattle in Washington, and we also considered New Orleans."

Diaz explains D.C. became a firm favourite as a result of its varied landscapes. Set in New York City, the first Division game was set on a grid—therefore the publisher was keen to push more environmental variety within the sequel's setting.  

"A place like D.C. gives us nature, wide open spaces, the monuments, and a greater sense of wildlife," adds Diaz, before explaining audio engineers spent days recording D.C. by night—clear of ambient noise that better reflected The Division 2's fictional crisis scenario. The publisher continues: "D.C. is built on swamp, the air is hot and sticky in the summer; but it also has a lot of colour, and that's a nice contrast to the first Division game." 

With that, Diaz tells us to expect mosquitoes, deer, and plenty of frogs alongside D.C.'s abandoned highways and overgrown cityscape. 

The Division 2 is due March 15, 2019. Till then, here's everything we know.  

Additional reporting by Tom Senior.