Ubisoft announced on November 20th, 2018 that they would be undoing the censorship they put into place for the global version of Rainbow Six: Siege in lieu of the game’s launch in mainland China.
The news was posted up over on the Ubisoft blog, where they acknowledged that back on November 2nd, 2018 they initially set out to censor the game in every region for the release in China. However, following a massive amount of pushback from non-Chinese gamers, Ubisoft decided to relent.
In the post, Ubisoft explains in no uncertain terms exactly why they’re reverting from the changes, stating…
“On November 2nd, we shared an article detailing the Aesthetic Changes coming with Operation Wind Bastion. Since then, our community and players have raised concerns.
“We have spent the last week working on solutions and have decided that we will be reverting all aesthetic changes.”
The changes were originally made to get the M-rated game to coincide with the 10 Rules of Censorship in China, which prohibits certain kinds of supernatural imagery, images of death, or gambling from being depicted in the game. This resulted in Ubisoft removing or changing various graphical images in Rainbow Six: Siege, while trying to placate the audience by claiming that none of the gameplay had been changed.
Well, a lot of gamers obviously did not take kindly to a game being changed to accommodate the very dictatorial sensibilities of China. YouTube outlet Hype Break.
It was an unpopular decision among gamers as well, with many noting that it was unfair the rest of the globe would be punished for censorship taking place in China.
— o3n3d (@o3n3d) November 18, 2018
This is problematic when companies, especially a Canadian company begins to censor a game globally to satisfy Chinese regulations so it can enter its market. Chinese censorship laws should not be imposed on a global population. @Ubisoft has yet to comment https://t.co/rFL6LimDrv
— 𝕸𝖆𝖗𝖈-𝕬𝖓𝖉𝖗é 𝕬𝖗𝖌𝖊𝖓𝖙𝖎𝖓𝖔 (@4ngl3rf1sh) November 10, 2018
Obviously, there were some hipsters who condescendingly thanked Ubisoft for reverting the game back to normal and removing the censorship while superciliously taking jabs at gamers who didn’t like the censorship.
Exactly. Why even care if theres a random gambling machine in clubhouse or a blood spatter in skyscraper when it doesnt effect your gameplay? Bunch of noobs
— Arpan (@LeArpan) November 20, 2018
Ubisoft, however, proclaimed in the post that the reversion will take place during the Year 3 Season 4 update, and it will apply to all international versions of the game.
What Ubisoft didn’t explicitly explain was how the actual Chinese version of Rainbow Six: Siege would be affected by this. Near the end of the post it states…
“Current players in Asian territories can continue enjoying the same game as the other players.”
So are we to assume that the Chinese version won’t be affected? Or does this apply only to gamers in Asian territories where the game is already released, but a special version will be released in China?
It’s awkwardly addressed in the post, but the assumption is that Ubisoft won’t be making the global version themed around the censorship that will likely only apply to the Chinese version of the game. According to Ubisoft, they will offer further updates on reversion at a later date.