Ubisoft has decided to censor certain visuals in Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege to prepare for the game’s “expansion into Asian territories”, the developer announced Friday. Though Ubisoft doesn’t explicitly admit it, the restrictions stem from China’s Internet censorship requirements. The affected visuals are background imagery and in-game icons that include references to sex, gambling, blood, and violence. The announced changes have been met with backlash by fans naturally, for having to play a sanitised version of a game owing to one country’s demands.
In a blog post, Ubisoft said the aforementioned changes for Rainbow Six Siege would be implemented in the upcoming year 3, season 4 update. It noted that “none of these changes will have an impact on gameplay”. The blog post went on to emphasise why this was being done, to have “a single, global version” of Rainbow Six Siege instead of “two parallel builds”, which Ubisoft claimed would increase efficiency and make it future-proof.
But later on Friday, a Ubisoft community manager muddied those waters in trying to clarify its stance and respond to the community backlash on Reddit:
“Moving forward, we do recognise and understand that for some elements, it is not possible to have a completely global build. Thus, there will be some things that are split build-wise. While our goal is to maintain as close a parallel as possible between builds, we will also not compromise the core integrity of the gameplay and mechanics as they exist currently.
Edit: For additional clarification, this branched build will be region locked, and will not have access to the worldwide data centres to engage with our existing player base – furthermore, VPNs will not function as a workaround.”
That suggests that Ubisoft will in fact be maintaining two separate builds unlike the “single, global version” it spoke of. Naturally, the duality has further upset the Rainbow Six Siege community, who are aghast at Ubisoft’s handling of the matter in addition to censoring a game for everyone globally to please “a communist regime”, as some fans put it.