Ubisoft facing backlash after China forces censorship on “Rainbow Six Siege”
Ubisoft has announced preparations to launch Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege in Asian territories, and changes are coming to the version that Western gamers have already purchased, whether they like it or not. In an effort to create a “global” version of the game, Ubisoft is changing/removing several of the game’s aesthetics to satisfy the censors in communist China. The content being removed includes environmental blood, visual representations of skulls, gambling references, and mild sexual content.
The video below from Censored Gaming outlines the changes in detail.
In order to create this “global version” of Rainbow Six Siege, it appears as though these changes will be coming to other regions via an online update. This isn’t the first time a game has been censored after release by means of an online patch, but the prospect of relinquishing control of a games’ content to the strictest of authoritarian regimes like communist China isn’t going over well with many western gamers who have been playing Rainbow Six Siege since 2015. Players took to Reddit by the thousands to voice the disappointment and to request that Ubisoft maintain separate builds of the game.
This situation highlights several overlapping concerns in addition to the obvious, broad concern of censorship. We know content is sometimes tweaked post-release, but at what point should this be considered a “bait-and-switch?” Is it appropriate for a game to have content removed three years after its release? Do we want a game’s content across all regions to be determined by what consumers in a single market may find “problematic?” (Skulls? Really? Goddamn, China sucks)
Here’s hoping the Taliban never become a viable gaming consumer base…