In the past 18 months, many high profile games have been hit with serious multiplayer issues. Driveclub's multiplayer was down for over two weeks when it launched, The Crew didn't let players form crews at first, Halo: The Master Chief Collection had matchmaking troubles right up until last month, and Battlefield 4's problems were so bad that several EA shareholders sued the publisher. Hoping to avoid a similar fate is Rainbow Six Siege, a game that was designed around multiplayer gameplay.
Rainbow Six Siege already has a lot riding on it, which makes avoiding online issues that much more important. Rainbow Six Siege began development after it became clear that Rainbow Six: Patriots (which was more single player focused and featured anti-government terrorists) wasn't going to work well with current gen consoles. On top of this, Siege is also massively different to other Rainbow Six games, as gameplay happens on a smaller scale (the E3 trailer for example, showed players fighting in a house). There's also the no respawn rule to think about.
That's why Ubisoft is intent on testing Rainbow Six Siege before its release later this year. After the information leaked via a promotional GameStop poster, the publisher has officially confirmed that Siege will be getting a closed beta too.
Speaking to VideoGamer, a Ubisoft spokesperson said that:
"Yes, you can now pre-order Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege to get access to the Closed Beta later on this year Stay tuned for more information on the Closed Beta in the coming months."
This closed beta (PC, PS4 and Xbox One) takes place after the closed alpha test of the game, which is currently taking sign ups on PC. In addition to server stress testing, Rainbow Six Siege may reap the same benefits as Battlefield Hardline when that shooter had its multiplayer beta test last year.
During the Hardline beta, developer Visceral Games and publisher EA discovered that they needed to add more game modes to the title, which, in turn, resulted in a delay. Ubisoft won't want to delay Siege any further (although Ubisoft delays are fairly common) but the fact that they could make improvements based on player wishes should be seen as a good thing.
However, the decision to offer beta access as a pre-order bonus has already received criticism. As beta testing is just that – testing – some Rainbow Six fans are unhappy that they're having to go out and pre-order the game just so that they can help Ubisoft fix bugs and make improvements.
Some fans are arguing that just like the closed alpha test, players should only have to sign up for a chance to get into the beta, rather than pre-ordering. This way, Ubisoft would still able to test the game but fans don't have to make any purchase commitments.
Will you be pre-ordering Rainbow Six Siege? Is Ubisoft right to offer beta access as a pre-order bonus?
Rainbow Six Siege will release in 2015 for the PC, PS4, Xbox One.