The Division has been buzzing in the news for a few weeks – not only is it the fastest selling game in Ubisoft history, server maintenance was necessary after players blocked doors and crucial NPCs, and a player finally reached the game’s level cap after grinding for 130 hours. Amongst all this success, however, the game has been marked by a major departure – game director Ryan Barnard has left Ubisoft for Square Enix.
According to his LinkedIn page, Barnard departed sometime in February of this year, after over 4 years with Massive Entertainment, an Ubisoft studio. He now holds the position of gameplay director at IO Interactive, the studio behind Hitman.
Barnard’s role in this newly created position, according to a post on IO’s website, will put him in charge of “three core teams – gameplay, online, and world – which will be no small task.”
Ryan’s contributions to game design over the years show he’s the ideal person to spearhead the coming efforts. We are very happy to add his talent to the pool of great people working at IOI. […] Ryan joins a studio team of 170 people from around 25 different countries who are collectively working on taking HITMAN into a new era of digital-first AAA games.
The newest entry in the Hitman franchise, simply titled Hitman, is an episodic game – the first episode was released March 11th for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.