Every version of Rainbow Six: Siege across every platform is being censored in preparation for its release in mainland China. Ubisoft decided not to make multiple versions of the game, but instead only wanted one global release, which meant that it has to comply with the 10 Rules of Censorship that China has in place to coincide with their “Socialist” principles.
Over on the Ubisoft blog there’s an explanation given by the developers as to why they’re censoring all version of Rainbow Six: Siege, stating…
“We want to be future proof
“Having the same people working on a singular global version of the game ensures we only need to do the work once. In addition, we can guarantee that any future changes are aligned with the global regulations we are working towards.
“We will not change the core of the game
“We have a commitment to ensure that the Rainbow Six Siege experience remains true to its roots. We are adjusting art and visuals, but are not compromising what makes Rainbow Six Siege the game you know today.”
The changes are very noticeable.
All of the slot machines within the stages have been removed.
Part of China’s 10 Rules of Censorship is that you can’t actively display gambling within the game. Nothing that violates the constitution, and a few more rules, as outlined by Games In Asia.
You can view the 10 rules below…
1.) Gambling-related content or game features
2.) Anything that violates China’s constitution
3.) Anything that threatens China’s national unity, sovereignty, or territorial integrity.
4.) Anything that harms the nation’s reputation, security, or interests.
5.) Anything that instigates racial/ethnic hatred, or harms ethnic traditions and cultures.
6.) Anything that violates China’s policy on religion by promoting cults or superstitions.
7.) Anything that promotes or incites obscenity, drug use, violence, or gambling.
8.) Anything that harms public ethics or China’s culture and traditions.
9.) Anything that insults, slanders, or violates the rights of others.
10.) Other content that violates the law”
The rules were firmly established back in 2014 when the home consoles were allowed to be sold in the mainland of China again. If you’re wondering about the skulls having to be removed from the game, it’s because it fits under China’s rules against promoting cults or superstitions, as they have a firm policy in place against promoting imagery with skeletons or skulls or the dead.
This also means any sexually suggestive imagery within Rainbow Six: Siege also had to be removed. Yes, even neon signs indicating that a strip club is present had to be replaced.
Gamers originally worried that AAA publishers would start censoring Western releases to comply with China’s tight censorship laws in the mainland in order to attract the massive 1 billion-strong consumer demographic in the ever-expanding Chinese market.
As pointed out in the video by Hype Break, it will be interesting to see how Ubisoft will handle future seasonal events that go against China’s strict rules on content control.
Will all future Halloween events avoid skeletons altogether? Will they eventually remove all blood and foul language from the game, too?
With Sony’s recent censorship spat over fan-service in games coming to the PS4 or already released on the PS4, this kind of added censorship at the behest of China will surely not go down well with anyone.
In fact, Sony’s censorship row was so bad that even the Chinese were surly at the fact that Sony’s policy forced the developer to censor the “Purification” system in the game Mary Skelter 2 for the Chinese release, which ended up breaking the game. The Chinese had to figure out a workaround to get the game working properly again, while some threatened to sue Sony for breaking the game with the post-launch patch.
Gamers the world around now have to deal with double the censorship, with Western gamers having to lose out on the aesthetic value of games being changed on behalf of China’s censorship rules, while Chinese and Japanese gamers have to deal with censorship being imposed on them by the Western branch of studios.
No matter which region’s rules of censorship wins out, gamers lose.
(Thanks for the news tip durka durka)