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Ubisoft walks back Rainbow Six Siege art changes following fan backlash

One of the originally-planned art changes to Siege.

A few weeks ago Ubisoft announced it would make a set of small changes to Rainbow Six Siege's maps and UI in preparation for localizing the game in Asia. At that time, Ubi said that it hoped to avoid duplicating work and address issues more quickly by moving to a single, base aesthetic common to all regional versions of Siege. 

Some Siege players were quick to criticize the move, with almost 1,500 negative reviews of Siege appearing on Steam three days after the announcement. "I live in Canada, I do not live in China. My experience in a game should not be at the mercy of a dictatorship halfway around the world," wrote one highly-upvoted post on the Siege subreddit. These angry players expressed a similar sentiment: any global changes to accommodate a regional version of the game, no matter how trivial, represented a capitulation to what they saw as Chinese government censorship.

Today Ubisoft reversed its plans for those changes, saying in an update on the Siege blog that the dev team will work to undo them in the next major seasonal update to Rainbow Six Siege, which is due soon. "We will begin reverting these changes alongside the launch of Wind Bastion so no player is impacted; we ask you to be patient if some elements remain. We will carefully remove them all to the best of our ability considering the short timeframe and with the lowest impact on the season’s launch date and our build stability." 

The statement directly acknowledged fan outrage, which it described a little more charitably, as a reason for the reversal. "We have been following the conversation with our community closely over the past couple of weeks, alongside regular discussions with our internal Ubisoft team, and we want to ensure that the experience for all our players, especially those that have been with us from the beginning, remains as true to the original artistic intent as possible," the blog reads.

Among the aesthetic changes Ubisoft originally announced were the removal of some decorative slot machines and a neon stripper sign in Siege's Club House map, as well as the replacement of a couple of event indicators in the game's kill feed.

Evan Lahti

Evan's a hardcore FPS enthusiast who joined PC Gamer in 2008. After an era spent publishing reviews, news, and cover features, he now oversees editorial operations for PC Gamer worldwide, including setting policy, training, and editing stories written by the wider team. His most-played FPSes are CS:GO, Team Fortress 2, Team Fortress Classic, Rainbow Six Siege, and Arma 2. His first multiplayer FPS was Quake 2, played on serial LAN in his uncle's basement, the ideal conditions for instilling a lifelong fondness for fragging. Evan also leads production of the PC Gaming Show, the annual E3 showcase event dedicated to PC gaming.