If you have been actively gaming this generation, then chances are, you have encountered, played and possibly even enjoyed at least one Ubisoft game. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as the video game titan has been outputting games at an insanely high rate; some fail to meet the hype demand, while others are a resounding success.
Finding itself in the latter case, Rainbow Six Siege is one of the most refreshing first-person shooters of the moment, taking the well-established formula made popular by Counter-Strike and reinventing it, adding multiple objective types, abilities, weapons, operators and gadgets.
Given its huge success, with Ubisoft reporting that the player base has had a steady increase in the game’s first year, it’s no surprise that the team behind Rainbow Six Siege decided to grant it at least one more year of content updates, releasing a second season pass. The first update, named Velvet Shell, has recently been released, adding a free “lootbox” system to the game, akin to the one made popular by Overwatch, updating the in-game user interface, and adding two new operators with unique abilities to the game. This update also marks the beginning of a new ranked season, and the beginning for the year’s update schedule.
Even if you consider its success something trivial, given Ubisoft’s large amount of funding, development teams and the number of free weekend events the game has hosted, its increasing player base stands as a testament to a great development team, coupled with great decisions from the publishers. When it launched back in December 2015, the game was just another shooter in a large roster of shooter games, and it had two huge problems that deterred players from purchasing the game: lack of a single-player campaign, and the large number of hackers plaguing the game’s online modes. While the latter has been fixed by changing the anti-hacker program used, the former still poses a threat to the game’s potential popularity, as many are still put off by the requirement of an Internet connection to play most modes of the game.
No matter what its current problems may be, Rainbow Six Siege, along with its player base (which has doubled since launch), should be a lesson to all video game developers and publishers. The game got to where it is today because of the developers’ close relationship with their community and the smart decisions made by the publishers time and time again, such as releasing a starter edition for $15. Also, the great community that continued playing the game in its darkest hours helped the developers iron out bugs and problems. This is also seen in Overwatch, without a doubt the most popular game released in the past few years.
The success of Rainbow Six Siege will certainly continue in its upcoming years, as long as the developers keep up the good work. The next mechanics update will come along with a new map, sometime between March and April, and the next two operators will be released in May. The developers have promised eight new operators, four new maps and multiple new weapons this year, along with other unannounced features and game modes.
It should also be noted that the developers have said they are planning to support the game until the number of operators is between 50 and 100. Given that the game currently has 30 operators (31 if you count the Recruit, which does not have any special ability), it looks as though Ubisoft won’t be giving up on this game for a while.