After gaining new life many months after launch, Ubisoft's tactical multiplayer shooter is about to expand into Asian markets, but not without a few caveats. In China's version of Rainbow Six Siege, violent, sexual, and other imagery will be toned down significantly.
In an official Rainbow Six Siege blog post, Ubisoft Montreal revealed the changes being made in compliance with China's censorship rules. Ubisoft didn't call it "censorship" itself (the word isn't mentioned at all in the post), but China's policies are very well known. Here are the reasons the development team lays out and some of the images shared that show a few changes:
We want to streamline our production time to increase efficiency
- By maintaining a single build, we are able to reduce the duplication of work on the development side. This will allow us to be more agile as a development team, and address issues more quickly.
We want to be future proof
- Having the same people working on a singular global version of the game ensures we only need to do the work once. In addition, we can guarantee that any future changes are aligned with the global regulations we are working towards.
We will not change the core of the game
- We have a commitment to ensure that the Rainbow Six Siege experience remains true to its roots. We are adjusting art and visuals, but are not compromising what makes Rainbow Six Siege the game you know today.
As you can see in the images above, along with the featured images for this post, environmental imagery focused on violence, gambling, and sexuality have been changed. Icons within Rainbow Six Siege's UI have also been changes to tone down the violence, as well. Despite Ubisoft's transparency in the matter, some fans aren't exciting for what could be seen as "bowing its head" to China.
PC Gamer reports that, in response to these changes, fans have review bombed Rainbow Six Siege on Steam, to the tune of almost 1,500 negative reviews. The most active post, from Redditor Qwikskoupa69, suggests removing Tom Clancy's name from the game. It reads, "If you are changing the game to fit a fascist countries' [sic] standards then you might as well remove his name because he is rolling in his grave right now. This game resembles nothing of that what he wrote."
Google is also under the microscope for testing a Chinese search app, one that is allegedly very heavy-handed in its efforts to censor and also potentially ID users that search specific things. Stay tuned to Shacknews for additional updates.