Ubisoft Responds To Rainbow Six: Siege Veterans' Lootbox Concerns

by Imran Khan on Jan 26, 2018 at 08:04 PM

Yesterday, Ubisoft announced new plans for Rainbow Six's upcoming event, Outbreak, the details of which made a lot of longtime fans incredibly unhappy. Today, Ubisoft finds themselves in the position of having to slightly walk back some of their earlier decisions.

In yesterday's blog post, Ubisoft explained how they plan to shepherd the popular multiplayer shooter into its third year of content. Along with these plans, Ubisoft unveiled character items that only drop from lootboxes, which themselves are only attainable through paying money for a virtual currency dubbed R6 Credits. In what appeared to be an attempt to mitigate the issue, the developer assured fans there would be no dupes, so anyone who buys all 50 boxes will get all 50 new, cosmetic items.

Each box, which Ubisoft calls Outbreak Packs, costs 300 R6 Credits, which itself works out to $2.50. That works out to $125 for cosmetic items for the event, which is expensive, but there is no element of gambling for people who want it all.

Alongside this update, Ubisoft announced they were eliminating the $40 version of the game and making the new base Rainbow Six: Siege a bundle called The Advanced Edition, which includes the base game, 600 R6 credits (a $5 value), and 10 Outbreak packs (a $25 value). This is where longtime players begin to feel treated unfairly.

Fans who had purchased the game at $40 or $60 before but wanted some or all of the cosmetics would be paying more than someone just now buying in. Ubisoft also introduced $90 and $120 tiers that included Year 3 and Year 1 and 2 content, respectively, but those did not carry discounts relevant to existing fans.

Today, Ubisoft tried to walk back the community outrage a bit on the game's subreddit. "Our passionate and dedicated fans are the reason why Rainbow Six Siege is a success, especially the ones who have been with us from Day 1. Following yesterday’s announcement, we have seen the frustration from our veteran players rise to the top of the discussion."

While not doing anything about the Operation Packs or costs themselves, Ubisoft is trying to make good with the veteran audience. Anyone who logs in between now and March 6 gets an Ash Sidewinder Elite skin, which shows up in player inventories at the start of Year 3. Additionally, Ubisoft is keeping the Standard $40 edition in addition to the ones revealed yesterday, as fans complained the price hike made it more difficult to bring in new players.

The developer also plans to ease the burden of obtaining the various operators in the game, but will share details of that at a later date.

When it first launched, Rainbow Six: Siege was mired in controversy based on excessive microtransactions and what players felt was an interminable grind. Ubisoft has been able to right the ship over the last few years and make the game one of the most popular multiplayer titles being played online.

Rainbow Six: Siege is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.


Our Take
It seemed unlikely Ubisoft would completely walk back the announced changes, as they're likely core to a new monetization solution to keep new content pumping for a game in its third year. Still, the cosmetic situation got out of hand fast there, so hopefully they carefully consider how far they take it.