After announcing three weeks ago that Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege would be censoring content for “Asian territories”, Ubisoft have announced they are reversing that decision in the next update.
Originally an update had removed many graphical assets and even some UI elements, including skulls, gambling machines, bloodsplatter already present on a map, and objects of a sexual nature.
After this, the game was quick to be “review-bombed” by upset fans and consumers. Over 1500 negative reviews had been generated on Steam, dropping the game’s overall ranking to “Mixed”.
Many users claimed that the changes were to comply with Chinese censorship laws. They felt Ubisoft were not only forcing those laws upon those outside of China (and indirectly supporting their regime by being complicit with the censorship within China), but disrespecting the work of author Tom Clancy (The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, The Sum of All Fears).
The update about the changes was posted on November 2nd. On November 3rd, the Ubisoft Community Manager account posted to Reddit’s /r/Rainbow6 subreddit, claiming there would now be another branch to the global build.
“To help allay some concerns about the changes and the future.
Moving forward, we do recognize and understand that for some elements, it is not possible to have a completely global build. Thus, there will be some things that are split build-wise. While our goal is to maintain as close a parallel as possible between builds, we will also not compromise the core integrity of the gameplay and mechanics as they exist currently.
Edit: For additional clarification, this branched build will be region locked, and will not have access to the worldwide data centers to engage with our existing player base – furthermore, VPNs will not function as a workaround.”
Users were quick to point out this sounded like China was getting their own version of the game that was region locked, raising even more doubts about why the rest of the world was going to be getting these changes in the first place. As of writing, the Community Manager’s post has a score of -7479.
The official Rainbow 6 website has posted news that the changes will be reverted in the next update (Y3S4). It goes onto explain when the changes are coming to the international version:
“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.”
The post goes on to cite the community’s reaction as the driving force behind this decision.
“We have been following the conversation with our community closely over the past couple of weeks, alongside regular discussions with our internal Ubisoft team, and we want to ensure that the experience for all our players, especially those that have been with us from the beginning, remains as true to the original artistic intent as possible.”
As of now “Current players in Asian territories can continue enjoying the same game as the other players“, but as of now we do not know the status of the Asian Territory build of the game.
We will keep you guys posted.