Ubisoft pushed for cosmetic changes to Rainbow Six Siege last year so that the game can be brought into China. The company eventually reversed the move, due to gamer backlash. It looks like the game publisher is giving it another try, this time with the help of Chinese conglomerate Tencent.
Francois-Xavier Deniele, esports director of Ubisoft Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), said as much after the title’s first live event in Asia. He said that the company wants to be careful to make sure it’s done properly.
The last time Ubisoft made aesthetic changes to Rainbow Six Siege, they were significant enough to not be a simple visual difference. The removal of certain elements from stages actually meant changes to the meta at the time as well. One example was the Club House map, where the removal of slot machines also removed a popular drone hiding spot. Ultimately, Ubisoft rolled these changes back.
Now, things are looking a little different, with PUBG Mobile setting the precedent. While the game was still considered too violent, Tencent, the publisher for the game in China, replaced it with Game for Peace instead. It’s essentially the same game, down to the stat retention of existing players. The only key difference is the way the game handles death. Defeated players would get up and wave goodbye rather than bleedout and die.
If Ubisoft adopted this approach in the first place, then there may not have been a backlash to it trying to get into China. Chinese gamers could have the same game, but with their own meta without it affecting the international scene. It seems that, with the current Tencent partnership, this may be the publisher’s strategy moving forward. But judging from PUBG’s name change, Rainbow Six Siege could get an entirely different name when it lands in China.