Ubisoft is preparing Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege for Asian territories by amending or removing a number of in-game visuals to temper references to violence, sex, and gambling.
Preparing for a "single, global vision", the developer-publisher is making changes now to make the game compliant with Asian laws. But as the development team wants to avoid the duplication of work involved in running two or more different builds to appease the laws in different countries, the changes are coming wholesale and will affect all versions.
"We are currently working towards preparing Rainbow Six Siege for expansion into Asian territories," stated the news post (via Gamesindustry.biz). "As such, there will be some adjustments made to our maps and icons to ensure compliance. None of these changes will have an impact on gameplay."
Stating it wants to "streamline our production time to increase efficiency", the post went on to explain that "by maintaining a single build, we are able to reduce the duplication of work on the development side. This will allow us to be more agile as a development team, and address issues more quickly".
"We have a commitment to ensure that the Rainbow Six Siege experience remains true to its roots," the post stressed. "We are adjusting art and visuals, but are not compromising what makes Rainbow Six Siege the game you know today."
After a push back by the community, many of whom expressed their dismay at the announcement – with some players insisting that some of these changes, such as removal of the slot machines, will indeed have an impact on gameplay – Ubisoft posted further information to "help allay some concerns about the changes and the future".
"Moving forward, we do recognize and understand that for some elements, it is not possible to have a completely global build," said Ubisoft community manager, "UbiNoty", suggesting there may not be a "global build" after all (this was further evidenced by a later tweet from Ubisoft community manager, Craig Robinson). "Thus, there will be some things that are split build-wise. While our goal is to maintain as close a parallel as possible between builds, we will also not compromise the core integrity of the gameplay and mechanics as they exist currently."
"For additional clarification, this branched build will be region locked, and will not have access to the worldwide data centers to engage with our existing player base – furthermore, VPNs will not function as a workaround."
Despite approaching its third anniversary, the Six community is alive and well, and Ubisoft continues to support the game with regular updates and expansions. Rainbow Six Siege’s latest update, Operation Grim Sky, released in September, offered the usual blend of improvements and updates, as well as an interesting ploy to encourage players to activate two-factor authentication (2FA).