Rainbow Six Siege fans roundly boo the announcement of a new monthly subscription service

Rainbow Six Siege year 9 season 2 key art - two Rainbow Six Siege operators facing each other
(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Rainbow Six Siege has been an ongoing success for Ubisoft for nearly a decade now, and shows no sign of slowing down—it was just in March, in fact, that the game set a new all-time concurrent player record on Steam of more than 201,000. But not everyone is thrilled with the weekend announcement of a new subscription service for Siege called R6 Membership, which promises exclusive content drops, animated skins, and premium battle pass access for $10 per month.

Siege's upcoming year 9 season 2 will feature a "complete remaster" of the Recruit, the game's original operator, which will get a new look and new attacker and defender archetypes that will enable two different gadgets to be selected depending on the chosen role. In lieu of a new operator, premium battle pass owners will get a voucher that can be redeemed for any operator currently in the lineup; those who already own all the operators in Rainbow Six Siege will instead be given 600 R6 Credits.

The update will also nerf the defenders Fenrir and Solis, "who were too strong in matches and demanded significant attention from attackers": The number of F-Natt Dread Mines Fenrir can carry has been reduced to four and they're no longer bulletproof, while the duration and range of Solis' SPEC-IO sensor has been reduced. A new Endless Drill mode will give players the opportunity to improve their abilities without being mercilessly pounded by other humans, and of course there's a range of other updates, tweaks, and changes in the pipe.

But it's the addition of the R6 Membership that has some players unhappy. For $10 per month, or $80 for an annual signup, subscribers get "a continuous stream of premium content that keeps your Ops equipped with the best exclusive gear." Monthly content drops will include "a time-limited Legendary item (sometimes animated for extra flair) [and] an Epic operator bundle," along with montly cosmetic "Bravo packs" and full access to the premium Battle Pass with 10 level skips.

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

The announcement at the Manchester Major this past weekend (via PCGamesN) was not what you'd call warmly received:


♬ original sound - Royza

The reaction isn't much better on Reddit, where I-Am-Bodge, who posted his own shorter clip of the reaction, said the crowd also broke out into chants of "robbing bastards," although he didn't get it on camera. Some redditor have expressed frustration with the rollout of a new monetization system amidst the relative dearth of content in the new season and ongoing issues with cheaters. There are also several unflattering comparisons with the similar Fortnite Crew subscription service.

"I understand they took [the] idea from Fortnite with it Crew membership," SlipstreamSpace117 wrote. "But [the] difference is, Fortnite is [a] free to play game, and R6 is not."

"With the Fortnite Crew one if you get a *single* month sub at the right timing, you can get 2 battle passes for free (also gives you the Rocket League ones), 1000 of the currency, and two exclusive sets from the Crew (+ an extra style for the first one)," redditor Jesus_PK said in a separate thread. "And if you add the value of the currency you gain from those two passes, that's extra 3000 currency. All of that for... 12€ iirc? Lmao. Meanwhile here you'll get a set after three months and shitty RNG packs and level ups."

The Y9S2 reveal video that was shown at the Manchester Major can be seen below—the R6 Membership segment starts at 10:00:

It's not a review-bombing yet, but comments about the new subscription service are also appearing in some recent negative user reviews on Steam.

It remains to be seen how long the upset persists. Premium battle passes remain available for purchase separately for 1,200 R6 Credits, which works out to $10 each, so players who are only interested in that content can still take that less expensive path to get it. And the content included in the R6 Membership service may ultimately prove to be worth the cost for dedicated players. For now, though, it's fair to say that Ubisoft's latest big idea is not off to a strong start.

The first R6 Membership content drop is set to roll out on June 28. Siege players who subscribe between June 11-18 will also get an "early adopter bonus" of an Ash epic bundle and 600 R6 credits.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.