The Division developer is making a new game based on James Cameron's Avatar

Ubisoft-owned game studio Massive Entertainment, which is best known for developing the third-person online shooter The Division, has revealed that it's working with Fox Interactive and James Cameron's Lightstorm Entertainment production company on a new game set on Pandora, the exotic, possibly sexy depending on your taste, world at the center of Cameron's 2009 hit film Avatar

"Massive is embarking on an amazing journey, together with Lightstorm Entertainment and Fox Interactive, to the world of Pandora, developing a cutting-edge new game for consoles and PC set on the beautiful and dangerous moon from the prominent Avatar film franchise," Massive's Avatar Project page states. "Our studio is leveraging its expertise and its proprietary technology, the Snowdrop engine, to deliver to everybody the wonders of Pandora." 

The trailer doesn't get into how the game will actually play, but it sounds like it might be a kind of themed Second Life sort of thing. "[The game] should be the ultimate experience, where you actually go to Pandora, and where you can live an alternative life on the moon," creative director Magnus Jansen said in the video. 

"Every player gets to choose how they want to experience this incredible universe," associate creative director Ditte Deenfeldt added.

Setting aside questions about much interest people may or may not have in a game based on Avatar at this point, which was very much sold on its then ground-breaking 3D element, the announcement of this project could be worrisome for fans of Massive's current game, The Division. 

Today also saw the launch of Last Stand, the third and final expansion included in The Division's season pass, and the 1.6 update, and while that's probably a coincidence, heading up the development of a major new game while simultaneously supporting and creating new content for an existing big-budget shooter would be an awfully big undertaking. 

It's strictly speculation, but taking on a big new project isn't the sort of thing that's inherently reflective of a strong and deep-seated commitment to existing ones. I've emailed Ubisoft for more information about the new Avatar game and what impact it may have on The Division, and will update if and when I receive a reply.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.