It's not often big publishers warn their customers about the size of an upcoming patch, but that's exactly what Ubisoft has done with Rainbow Six Siege.
In a post on the Rainbow Six website, Ubisoft revealed the size of its upcoming season three patch for the various platforms the game is on.
If you're on PC with Ultra HD, the patch is a gargantuan 42GB. If you're on PC without Ultra HD, it's 26GB.
If you're playing on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, you're looking at a 15GB download. That's nowhere near as big as the PC download, but it's still huge for a video game patch.
Why is the update so big? Ubisoft said the patch resets the foundation future patches are built upon. The Y2S3.0 (year two season three) patch is the new baseline Ubisoft will update the game client from. "As a result of resetting the baseline, we must replace a significant number of the existing data forges," Ubisoft said. So, it's like you're downloading a new version of Rainbow Six Siege, rather than an update.
Want more detail? Here it is:
"All game data is stored in what we refer to as a 'forge'. This is a compressed archive containing other files. When we need to modify a file that is part of a forge, we simply download a new forge that contains the new file without replacing the original forge. This simplifies the patching process, and reduces the download size. Over time however, it leads to a lot of wasted space on disk, as there are more and more modified files."
The Y2S3.0 patch changes many existing textures, Ubisoft added, so the developers decided to consolidate the forges. The overall impact is a smaller footprint on your hard drive that takes up less space. And, it should mean faster load times for all players. Ubisoft said console players will see about 10 per cent faster loading times for matches. And it's worth noting the overall size of all future patches will be reduced by 12-15 per cent.
So, a gargantuan download now for a better and brighter future. Sounds reasonable to me.