Rainbow Six Siege players who use slurs are now getting instantly banned (opens in new tab). Ubisoft's zero tolerance approach to toxicity was first installed in July, and Siege's brand director Alexandre Remy tells us the system is "evolving" as the dev aims to maintain and grow a respectful community.
"The ban system is going strong, actually, and we feel very strongly about the system," Remy tells me at last month's Paris Major. "That system is going to be evolving too. Today, the system means that any player that uses homophobic or racial slurs in our chat will automatically receive a temporary ban. After three temporary bans you get permanently banned.
"That is a very, very strong stance from Ubisoft and from the game about how we want to deal with toxicity in the game. That feature will evolve as we develop in the future, we plan to add filtering systems to stop those words even showing up at all in the chat, so it's going to be a little more flexible."
Remy says that regardless of future plans, though, the Siege team is "very passionate" about stamping out hateful communications. He admits that online PvP games are by nature adversarial, and therefore tend to invite toxicity. Nevertheless, he says "we have no regrets whatsoever when it comes to banning toxic players" and that being strong means clamping down to prevent bad behaviour from spreading.
I admire Remy and Ubisoft's no bullshit stance, but I ask Remy how he views the suggestion from certain players (opens in new tab) that this zero tolerance approach impinges on freedom of speech.
"There's a saying that goes something along the lines of 'your freedom ends where mine begins'," says Remy. "To us, it's not a question of freedom or equality, it's a question of respect. Behaving in a respectful way, I believe, is not a requirement that's beyond humanity. Respect is all we are asking for. I believe that with those measures that we're putting in place, we are exactly on the right path of making a community, as much as possible, that's respectful of one another."