The Division goes fully free for the weekend

Beginning at 1 pm ET on May 4—that's tomorrow!—and running until 4 pm ET on May 7, Ubisoft's multiplayer third-person shooter The Division will be free to play for everyone, without limit or restriction. The current trial offer, which provides access to the game for six hours or until players reach level 8, will be put "on hiatus" over the weekend, and any progress made during the freebie will carry over into the full game if you decide to keep playing. 

It's hard to argue with "free," but will a one-off expansion of a trial that's already pretty generous be enough to bring in meaningful numbers of new players—and, more importantly, keep them around? Ubisoft is clearly doing all it can to stoke interest in The Division, but it's just as clearly struggling with iffy ideas and uncertain direction: Tim declared in March that the "Year Two" plan, which includes two free expansions but no new story content, "dooms it to a slow death," while James chimed in shortly after to say that the newly added Premium Vendor "might be the worst example of microtransactions yet." 

During the free weekend, the Standard and Gold editions of The Division will be dicounted "on all digital stores." For the moment, it remains at regular price ($50/£40/50) on Steam and the Ubisoft Store, but Ubisoft said in the announcement that it "will be available for up to 60 percent off until May 9." 

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.