UPDATE: Ubisoft has backtracked on its recent announcement that Rainbow Six siege's price would be increased from $40 to $60 over two years after the game originally released.

"For our newcomers and those of you concerned about introducing your friends to the game, we will be keeping the Standard Edition in the store at the current price," announced Ubisoft.

The current Standard Edition will now stay in the store for $40 and will be joined by the $15 Starter Edition, $60 Advanced Edition, $90 for the Gold Edition and $130 for the Complete Edition, as detailed in the original story.

In a further bid to try and assuage angered fans, Ubisoft will be giving all veteran players a free Ash Sidewinder Elite skin for free if they play any match between now and March 6th. As an aside, I think that also gives us the launch date of March 6th for Rainbow Six Siege Year 3 Season 1.

Lastly, Ubisoft has said it's been listening to concerns that the Starter Edition makes it too laborious to unlock new Operators and will be sharing information about potential changes during the next Six Invitational eSports event.

So, that's the price hike taken care of, but we're still not overly pleased about the 50 Outbreak Collection Packs that can only be unlocked with cash. Some way for players to earn them through gameplay, however grindy, would be nice.

Original Story: 26-Jan-2018 - Rainbow Six Siege Price Increased, Paid-Only Outbreak Loot Boxes Inbound

Ubisoft has just announced a whole bunch of changes to how Rainbow Six Siege will be priced heading its third year, and it makes for fairly grim reading for new players. There will now be a grand total of four different editions of Rainbow Six Siege, and they also have really intuitive names like Starter, Advanced, Gold and Complete. Hint: If you need to provide a giant chart to explain what’s in each version, you’re doing it all wrong.

OK, so let’s try and break all this down. The cheapest version is the Starter Edition. This comes with the game and 600 Rainbow Six Credits to spend on a couple of new Operators. It’s the cheapest option at $15, but it's also burdened with extended time to unlock the 20 base Operators. While in normal versions these Operators cost from 500 to 2000 Renown, all Operators for the Starter Edition cost 15,000 Renown. I would estimate you can earn about 1000 Renown an hour if you’re winning and completing daily challenges.

Then there’s the Advanced Edition. Previously known as the Standard Edition, its price has been raised from $40 to $60. It’s basically the same as the Starter Edition but the Operator unlock cost is back down to 500 to 2000 Renown, and it also now comes with 10 Outbreak Collection Packs (more on that later).

A step up from this is the Rainbow Six Siege Gold Edition. It’s identical to the Advanced Edition aside from all containing access to the eight Year 3 Operators which will launch throughout 2018. It’ll cost you $90.

Finally, there’s the Complete Edition, which is a shortcut to owning every Operator in the game. Ordinarily, this would take you hundreds of hours, but you can save all that time, effort (and fun) by coughing up the almighty sum of $130.

It’s not great news for new Siege players then, and my advice remains that you pick up the Advanced/Standard Edition, ideally whenever you see it in a sale, which happens pretty often. The first 20 Operators from the base game really don’t take long to unlock, and you can earn enough Renown to buy a new one every couple of matches. From there you can either start saving up 25K Renown for the DLC Operators, or you can buy them a la carte for about £3. Buying a few and unlocking a few, it’ll end up much cheaper than the Complete Edition.

Which then brings me on to Rainbow Six Siege - Outbreak. It’s a new four-week special event arriving in time for Season 1 of Year 3, and it’s a three-player co-op mode, presumably against a zombie invasion. The town of Truth or Consequences in New Mexico has been quarantined and it’s up to you to go in and clean up. The event itself is free, but Ubisoft will be adding the Outbreak Collection of 50 unique cosmetic items. These are only available in blind loot packs paid for in cold, hard cash. You can’t get duplicates, but buying all 50 would cost around £70 here in the UK. Players will get given four of the Outbreak Packs for free when the event goes live.

I’ve never really had a problem with Rainbow Six Siege’s monetisation systems; it seemed fair to me that some stuff could take a while to unlock but if you put the effort in, you g0t the rewards. Blind-purchase Alpha Packs do rub me up the wrong way though, especially for an event that’s only running for four weeks. This really taps into a few people’s vulnerability that they need to buy them now or miss out forever, and you’re also handing over cash for an unknown reward. At least with Alpha Packs, you can just spend Renown, and they’re occasionally doled out for free at the end of a match. Here's either pay up or shut up.

Big changes inbound for how Rainbow Six Siege is monetised then, and arguably none of it is good for the players, where old or new. What are your thoughts on these changes? Let us know below!