Ubisoft is implementing a new system to ban players who use racist or homophobic hate speech in Rainbow Six: Siege. The news comes from an official post on the Rainbow Six: Siege subreddit. Ubisoft is aiming to enforce the Code of Conduct, stating “any language or content deemed illegal, dangerous, threatening, abusive, obscene, vulgar, defamatory, hateful, racist, sexist, ethically offensive or constituting harassment is forbidden.” In the wake of Ubisoft’s Outbreak event, punishing toxic chat is key to maintaining their new fanbase. They also stated that this is merely a first step in managing toxicity in Rainbow Six: Siege. Ubisoft have more plans that they will announce at a later date. While gamers have a reputation for vulgar hate speech, Ubisoft is investing time and effort into punishing this behaviour.
How will it work?
Ubisoft currently ban players for toxic behaviour and hate speech, but now they are dedicating more resources to punishing players. The bans will be in increments of 2, 7 and 15 days, with permanent bans for especially bad cases. Ubisoft have stated that they will personally track language that violates the Code of Conduct “and will apply the appropriate ban on a case-by-case basis.” Ubisoft are also relying on players to report others for review. A new reporting option is available in the post game lobby, similar to League of Legends. As this is also to report cheaters, players can log into their online account and contact Ubisoft support directly. This applies specifically to the PC version of the game, as Microsoft and Sony have their own systems for consoles.
Hate speech in games
Video games and online gamers, along with much of the internet, have often been associated with racist and homophobic slurs. Whether it’s the anonymity of the internet or an online culture that accepts hate speech, gamers have a reputation. Even high profile stars have publicly shown this casual racism and homophobia, such as PewDiePie’s racial slip last year. It was just last week that eSports team Mavs Gaming lost their General Manager over the use of a racial slur in a tweet. Where many companies let the community police and report itself, Ubisoft has identified that this isn’t working. Now that a company, especially one as big as Ubisoft, is dedicating more time and resources to specifically fighting hate speech in their communities, one can only hope other developers follow suit.
Crucial timing for Rainbow Six: Siege
The renewed focus on combating hate speech has come during an important time for Rainbow Six: Siege. With the new Outbreak mode and the game entering its third season, Rainbow Six: has a second chance to redefine itself. As Ubisoft has previously stated, the plan for Rainbow Six: Siege is for it to be a service based game that will update its content over the next decade. After a rocky release, the game has finally bounced back and transformed from a one off installment in the Rainbow Six franchise to a service like Overwatch or Counter Strike. Now that Rainbow Six: Siege will be one of Ubisoft’s top games, combating hate speech is crucial. A strong, zero tolerance stance on hate speech is key to the longevity of the game and the community. With this commitment punishing hate speech, Ubisoft is further committing to their dedicated player base.