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Rainbow Six Siege "will be here for the next 10 years"

Smooth operator.

This weekend saw the world's best Rainbow Six Siege players battle it out in the game's 2018 Invitational tournament - and Ubisoft was on hand to detail what was next for the game.

Lots of people play Siege.

Rainbow Six Siege has, if you've not already heard, quietly become one of Ubisoft's biggest games. This weekend, Ubi boasted that Siege now had 27 million players (although it's unclear how many of these come from free weekends).

"We've communicated already a couple of times that our vision for the game is to bring it to 100 operators," Rainbow Six Siege brand director Alexandre Remy said at the event.

"Today we have 36 operators. Year 3 will bring eight [more]. That 100 is a symbol of the longevity we want to have for the game.

"We are saying extremely loudly here - there is no sequel planned. We will be here for the next 10 years. So expect more Rainbow 6 in your life for quite some time."

The journey from Siege's origins as a slightly-underwhelming boxed game to today's behemoth of a live service has, perhaps not surprisingly, had a few bumps along the way. Last month, for example, players voiced their displeasure at Outbreak, a timed event with paid-only cosmetic packs (although Ubisoft responded to say it would give one skin away to everyone for free).

"Year 3 is symbolic because the content we've now created for the game since release is going to be bigger than the content we shipped in the original box," Remy said, highlighting the current tipping point.

All 20 legacy operators from the Standard Edition will now come unlocked from the off, Remy said, and all past, present and future attachments for operators will be unlocked straight away.

The game's new Starter Edition will get a buff to now have six operators instead of four.

Cover image for YouTube videoRainbow Six - Six Invitational 2018 - LIVESTREAM - Finals

Finally, Remy defended the Outbreak event's paid-for cosmetic loot boxes, this time via an interview with MCV:

"I feel like the loot boxes act like the gift shop after the rollercoaster," Remy said. "I am feeling very empathetic towards players upset with this, but at the same time I do not feel we are cheating anyone, I don't think we are being greedy whatsoever."