It's been a rough week for Ubisoft when it comes to Rainbow Six Siege. Despite the exciting announcement of Operation Wind Bastion, the next season has been overshadowed by controversy surrounding a Rainbow Six Siege-based censorship debacle.
Two weeks ago, Ubisoft announced that it would be censoring the global aesthetics of the game as part of a move to sell the product in China. Instead of making a separate censored version for the Chinese region, the studio stated that it wanted to streamline the development process and would censor parts of the game for everyone - an announcement that went just about as smoothly as one would expect (read: it went horribly).
The global Rainbow Six Siege community was in an instant uproar in regards to Ubisoft censoring the global build of the game, and the title quickly got review bombed by upset fans. The gamers had a point: how could a game which had a season called Operation Skull Rain suddenly shy away from showing skull icons? The irony of removing gambling machines from maps but selling loot packs was evidently lost on the developers.
After two weeks of what one can only imagine was intensely negative feedback from the gaming community, Ubisoft has now opted to cut its losses and reverse the decision.
For its part, Ubisoft has committed to reverting the censorship changes completely by the time Operation Wind Bastion launches, which is likely to be in early December. Ubisoft stated that some of the changed elements may remain until the next update after that, but the majority of the elements should be back to normal. Truthfully, those probably weren't the big map reworks most fans were thinking of when Ubisoft teased the idea.
Ubisoft reversing its decision on the censorship issue is being seen as a big win for gamers as a whole, many of whom had voiced their displeasure en masse. The gaming community has had to be fairly proactive in recent times, with Electronic Arts facing mass fan anger with the Star Wars Battlefront 2 microtransaction controversy about a year ago.
Rainbow Six Siege has microtransactions as well, but fans have accepted the existence of loot packs in the 5-vs-5 tactical shooter. The content these cards unlock are all cosmetics, and none of them were involved in the censorship fiasco - though some of the charms did feature skulls. It's not clear how Ubisoft would have handled skull cosmetics that players had purchased through both in-game and at-cost currency. Thankfully, it's a question Rainbow Six Siege won't need to answer.
Rainbow Six Siege is available now on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.