It appears that The Division will undergo an alpha test at some stage.
Data mining of the game's website has revealed a section entirely devoted to an alpha test. As the game has an extensive range of multiplayer and social options, such a test would hardly come as a surprise.
When some HTML code is altered, an option for the alpha appears in the site navigation bar.
The game is set in New York three weeks after a lethal virus, released on what Americans call Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving Day, which begins an annual orgy of Christmas shopping), has swept through the city.
Based loosely upon an actual scenario envisaged by the US government in a simulation called Operation Dark Winter, the virus rapidly spreads through the population, knocking out essential services and plunging society into chaos.
In response, the fictional "Presidential Directive 51" is invoked, activating a top-secret unit of "self-supporting tactical agents" called The Division. The agents are trained to operate independently of command in case of such a scenario.
In the game's persistent online open-world, players will be able to explore the city of New York – which has been decimated by looting and overrun by gangs of survivors, from Central Park to the subway to the Statue of Liberty.
The Division is coming to new-gen and PC some time this year.