UPDATE: We have just received word there is in fact also a paid Season Pass in the works with details to be revealed next week.
Original Story: Ubisoft has detailed its post-launch plans for upcoming multiplayer shooter Rainbow Six Siege, and the good news is that the eight new operators, four new maps, additional weapons and game modes will all be totally free of charge. Which took me by surprise when I initially read Ubisoft had a Year One Roadmap for R6: Siege, but of course there's always a sting in the tail.
Ubisoft’s taken the decision to make it all free so the multiplayer community doesn’t become fragmented. We’ll all be on a level playing field with access to exactly the same maps, game modes, weapons and classes. The year’s worth of content is split up into four seasons lasting three months each, bringing with them a bunch of seasonal content and events.
“Our vision was not a game that you’d play through and “beat,” but something you’d regularly come back to,” write Ubisoft. “In order to do that, we’ll be actively supporting Rainbow Six Siege with gameplay balancing and tweaks (plus detailed patch notes), events and competitions, and four major content releases with no paywall on gameplay content.”
The content’s going to be split up evenly, so in Season One: Operation Black Ice, we’re going to get one new map, two new operators and a handful of new weapons and gadgets. The idea is that we’ll have a bit of time to mess around with new class combinations and a new environment, with each update significantly altering Rainbow Six Siege’s gameplay.
Rainbow Six Siege Microtransactions
As always though, there is a catch. Everything in Rainbow Six: Siege barring Tier 4 & 5 weapon skins can be unlocked using Renown. This is a currency earned while playing and used for unlocks. So far, so good. Then there’s R6 Credits. Now Ubisoft say for “an online, competitive multiplayer game it’s imperative that we don’t create a divide in the community or introduce “pay to win” mechanics.” Which to me sounds like you can just buy cosmetic weapon skins and that’s your lot, but that’s not strictly the case…
R6 Credits can also be spent on Renown Boosters, which allows you to generate Renown faster while playing. You can also use R6 Credits to unlock new operators earlier. This means if you’ve got the cash then you can pay to unlock all the higher-tier gear ahead of everybody else, which certainly sounds like pay to win to me. There’ll be five different packages of R6 Credits at launch comprising 600, 1200, 2670, 4920 or 7560 R6 Credits.
Ubisoft estimates each post-launch operator can be unlocked by playing for approximately 25 hours, which should earn about 25,000 Renown. If that’s a bit too much of a commitment, you can buy 600 R6 Credits for £3.99 and unlock an operator immediately. So for those eight post launch operators, you can either spend 200 hours(!) unlocking them, or pay £32 to unlock all of them immediately. That's not even taking into account time it will take you to unlock the operators, gadgets and weapons included in the base game.
On the one hand Ubisoft is serving up a great package with fantastic post-launch support for Rainbow Six Siege, while on the other it feels as if we’re being herded towards microtransactions unless we’re happy to put in an obscene amount of time.
What do you think of Rainbow Six Siege’s post-launch support? Are the R6 Credits pay to win? Let us know your thoughts!