Ubisoft are currently receiving a large amount of backlash due to changes that have been implemented into their game, Rainbow Six Siege, in anticipation of branching out into China’s market.
In order to allow their game to flourish in such a giant market, developers must ensure they follow certain guidelines like removing gore and any signs of gambling. This can already be seen in Rainbow Six Siege, as slot machines were removed from certain maps, and icons on the user-interface were altered.
For example, the knife representing melee has been changed into a fist, plus the death icon, once a skull and cross, has now become a simplistic torso and head with an ‘X’ over the chest. Blood has also been toned down, and sexual content has been removed.
Players expressed outrage, which was evident by the game’s Steam page being infiltrated by an army of angry gamers and their weapons of mass negativity. Over 1,000 negative reviews were posted, and this dropped Rainbow Six Siege’s reception to ‘mixed’ on the store-page.
Slot machines were removed from certain maps, and icons on the user-interface were altered.
Some gamers believe the solution would be for Ubisoft to have Chinese audiences play on a different build of the game - an option that many other developers choose. However, it is easier for a developer to simply have one build, and with changes being barely noticeable and having no impact on gameplay, the necessity of this expensive and time consuming alternative is dubious.
Although, the main reason people seem to be giving as to why they are upset is supposedly due to the precedent it sets for the industry, and not the actual changes themselves. It raises the question - are fans overreacting to Ubisoft’s decisions? Either way, Ubisoft likely doesn’t want the controversy when Season 4 is right around the corner.