I remember the launch of Rainbow Six Siege

I remember it well because it was another one of those games that started with a deceptive trailer. Smoke billowed from thrown grenades. Walls toppled with a precision unseen in any other FPS. But the trailers were manipulative in other ways – it showed the ability to drop in from helicopters, it showed various routes of entry. It showed a return of the realistic/arcade fps. I couldn’t get enough of it.

It was going to be a day one purchase for me. A long term veteran of the Rainbow Six series (particularly the two Vegas titles), I was ready to drop onto the roof of a suburban house and comb the grounds for terrorist activity. Then the game came out and, it wasn’t shit – but… let’s just say, there wasn’t a whole lot of game there.

Fans were fuming over the lack of a single-player, others disliked the introduction of casual FPS shooter mechanics, and some – like me – felt that the price tag was too damn high. We were paying full price for a game that wasn’t wholly there, and though Ubisoft assured us that more was coming, nothing arrived for some time.

The original roadmap.
The original roadmap.

Would there be additional content? Or would Siege fall on its face, leaving Ubi to sweep up its own mess?

Siege players got the content, and the content was pretty good. These additions have now pushed Siege over the ‘not enough content to consider purchasing’ threshold, and new pricing mechanics have enabled those less financially fortunate to pick up the game and unlock new specialists through effort rather than expense. These changes have brought in a wave of new players, but so too have the sponsored streams.

Sponsored streams? Yep. Ubisoft have been trying to artificially generate interest in the game by handing out big bucks to big streamers – not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course. It’s all money, and streamers don’t hide the fact that they’re not playing by choice.

And it’s working, at least, it seems to be working. Active players in Steam are rising from an average of 10,000 to 11/12,000, but Siege has yet to hit the peaks seen in August and July: of 32,000 & 39,000 players, respectfully. Weekend deals have driven up interest – but for how long? And do other hardcore Rainbow Six players feel as disappointed as I do?

The future of the title is not as uncertain as it used to be, and it now stands strong on it’s own two feet. Paid streams, cheap weekends and great deals are building up a solid player base for a title that initially stumbled, but is now soaring to greater heights.

What are your thoughts? Is Rainbow Six Siege still the same game which launched in December last year? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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