A few weeks back, Ubisoft announced plans to make aesthetic changes to global multiplayer maps in Rainbow Six Siege in preparation for release in Asian territories. The plan was to keep the game the same globally to save time.However, fan backlash to the changes has caused Ubisoft to announce the will stay with separate maps.
Players love their skulls and bloodstains
On November 2, Ubisoft announced changes to be implemented for the Year Three, Season Four update of Rainbow Six Siege. The update, known as Operation Wind Bastion, marks the game’s transition into Asian territories. The update would include changes to in-game maps in order to “ensure compliance” with local regulations. As part of the changes, Ubisoft would make the game maps the same for all players online. This would “reduce the duplication of work on the development side” so they could “be more agile as a development team, and address issues more quickly”.
Foreign countries, including the big market known as China, have different policies on what’s okay in video games. China, in particular, is known to frown upon things like gambling machines. It’s often said that skulls and skeletons are banned in China, but that’s not true. Nevertheless, China’s broad censorship laws means sometimes skeletons can be considered objectionable. Because of this, cautious publishers remove or change them to be safe.
As part of the transition process for Rainbow Six Siege, things like skulls, slot machines, and a neon sign depicting a pole dancer would be removed. However, the fans weren’t happy, and review bombed the game on Steam. A popular negative “review” was “[This comment has been censored by The People’s Republic of China]”.
In a news post yesterday, Ubisoft announced they would roll back the changes. They said:
We will begin reverting these changes alongside the launch of Wind Bastion so no player is impacted; we ask you to be patient if some elements remain. We will carefully remove them all to the best of our ability considering the short timeframe and with the lowest impact on the season’s launch date and our build stability.
Operation Wind Bastion is currently available on test servers.