Ubisoft has announced that it will be making "aesthetic changes" to Rainbow 6 Siege ahead of the game's release in "Asian territories". However, fans aren't happy that this newly sanitised version will be the global default.
News of the changes comes via a blog post on the Rainbow 6 Siege website, which explains that, as part of Ubisoft's incoming Year 3, Season 4 update, "some adjustments [will be] made to our maps and icons to ensure compliance". While Ubisoft never explicitly states precisely what it's attempting to comply with, the inference is that alterations are being made pre-emptively to satisfy local regulations ahead of the game's expanded release.
Ubisoft's post provides a handful of examples of its forthcoming changes, all of which relate to depictions of violence, gambling, and sex, in some capacity. Siege's melee icon, for instance, will be changed from a knife to a fist, while skulls are to be completely removed across the board, whether that be in icon form or on in-game wall art.
Other examples include the removal of blood spatters, as well as slot machines, and a neon sign depicting a pole dancer. The latter will be replaced with a notably less suggestive pointy finger.
Needless to say, fans aren't particularly happy, with many predictably crying "censorship". Some are even framing Ubisoft's actions as 'laziness', in large part thanks to the publisher's admission that it had opted to make the changes global in order to reduce its work load.
"By maintaining a single build, we are able to reduce the duplication of work on the development side," Ubisoft wrote, "This will allow us to be more agile as a development team, and address issues more quickly." It also noted that a global build would "guarantee that any future changes are aligned with the global regulations we are working towards."
However, confusing matters, a later response from a Ubisoft community manager appeared to contradict the publisher's initial statement. In a post to the Rainbow 6 subreddit, UbiNoty wrote, "we do recognize 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". It also noted that this region-locked, branched build "would not engage with our existing player base".
In light of this, some fans have questioned why aesthetic changes would still be necessary, given the apparent confirmation that a split build will exist between territories after all.
Although Ubisoft has so far failed to placate fans regarding its upcoming changes, the publisher did insist that it will be amending art and visuals only, and that it's "not compromising what makes Rainbow Six Siege the game you know today."