Ubisoft have confirmed that they aim to continue support for Rainbow Six: Siege over the next decade. The announcement was made at finals of their annual eSports Invitationals. Ubisoft revealed, due to Rainbow Six: Siege’s growing popularity, they will be continuing long term support for the base game instead of developing a sequel. Rainbow Six: Siege is now following a similar content plan to other first person shooters like Counter Strike: Global Offensive and Overwatch. This includes a new Year 3 pass, more content included with the base game, and an emphasis on cosmetic items and competitive eSports play.
Year 3 Pass brings new content
During the press event, Ubisoft revealed more details for their Year 3 Pass. This year they aim to release 8 new operators, two new maps and a map rework. The Season 1 wave of releases is Operation: Chimera on March 6. This includes the new “Finka” and “Lion” operators as well as a new timed co-op event, Outbreak. Outbreak is a zombie survival mode that will freely run for 4 weeks, offering players exclusive skins. Ubisoft is reworking the map “Hereford” for a Season 2 release. The team will be putting more focus into “buffing” maps, specifically for bomb-mode. Their current goal is to “buff” a map every season, with “Clubhouse” releasing in Season 2. These “buffs” include improving objective sites and tweaking the current meta. They also stated they would unlock more content for the base game. Not only will players receive all 20 original operators but also all weapon attachments. It would seem that the Year 3 Pass is just the start of a long roadmap for Ubisoft.
New heights from a rough start
Ubisoft estimate that Rainbow Six: Siege’s player base has grown to 27 million since its release December 2015. While the game struggled initially, the new model suggests a longevity similar to games like CS:GO instead of repeated releases like the Call of Duty franchise. The first iteration of the game received lukewarm reviews, with metascores in the 70s. Critics panned the game for a lack of content, a struggling competitive mode and a greedy lootbox system. However Ubisoft has remained dedicated to the fanbase, adding more content each year.
It seems that Ubisoft has poured enough content into the game to completely change the format. The launch version of the game appeared as Ubisoft attempting to create a franchise like Far Cry or Call of Duty, or just another entry in the Tom Clancy franchise. Now that three years have past and the game is still reaching new heights, these comparisons would be unfair. An indication of how far Ubisoft sees the franchise growing is in their ‘operators’. At the Invitationals, Ubisoft stated that they see themselves eventually having 100 operators, from the current 36. This is similar to the development plans for other class or hero based games like Overwatch, Dota 2 or League of Legends. With a goal of 8 operators a year, Ubisoft is confident that they will deliver a growing game for a growing fanbase.
Many of the game’s other criticisms are also slowly being ironed out. As many games are being criticised for the inclusion of unfair lootboxes and shady microtransactions, Ubisoft have made adjustments. With free operators and weapon attachments, players now have more credits to spend exclusively on cosmetic items. This not only means players have to spend less real money, but potential pay-to-win elements are removed. Another big criticism was the game’s poor competitive support. With a growing eSports presence, Ubisoft are focusing on fixing their Pro-League. This included new game formats, improved banning phase and a reworked spectator tool.
Ubisoft’s current plans for the Rainbow Six: Siege franchise is following all the trends of modern FPS games. With cosmetic microtransactions, a budding eSports scene and growing fanbase, the initial launch struggles are in the past. Instead of a sequel or franchise like other shooters, Rainbow Six: Siege has adopted a MOBA like format. Expect Rainbow Six: Siege to deliver more content with each annual iteration of the game.