The Rainbow Six: Siege 2020 invitational event is here and along with it comes some brand new content including exclusive skins, a limited-time map and... a battle pass. Sigh. From now until February 16th, players can access the new map, Stadium, which appears to be an amalgamation of several features and architecture of other maps.
As with most events the Stadium map isn't a permanent addition to the game. More interesting is that during the event you can play as all the operators in the roster regardless of whether or not you have unlocked them yet.
Though the biggest, and possibly most outrageous, news to come out of this event is the introduction of a Battle Pass. Yay. Keeping up with the trends of other multiplayer-heavy games attempting to maintain a consistent player base while eyeing up profitability, the new battle pass has a free tier and a premium tier. The latter costs 1200 R6 Credits. Thankfully, you can buy the exact amount in the store, rather than leaving you with a measly 50 or 100 credits left behind like most other games that offer a Battle Pass. 1200 R6 Credits will set you back around $14.00, which is a little high in comparison to other Battle Passes on offer and only has 35 levels to progress through, each with a single reward.
Much like Fortnite you can shortcut your way through the pass and buy the Bundle version for 2400 R6 Credits, immediately unlocking the first 12 levels plus exclusive skin sets for both Caveira and Hibana.
If you ask me, R6 Siege doesn't really need a Battle Pass. Many have complained before about the amount of microtransactions in Siege, especially since most have already bought the game in order to play it. But it was always accepted when considering Siege's long-running upward climb to one of the best multiplayer action games out there. It's arguably much better to be burdened with cosmetic microtransactions than having to buy the game again every year with marginally better improvements. Most of the items you can receive aren't even that good: there's a lot of charms and weapon skins, but why is a jacket for Sledge considered legendary and a jacket for Thermite only considered Epic?
The Battle Pass looks like an obvious cash-in on recent gaming trends and it seems Ubisoft is trying to look a little less suspicious about it by offering 30% of the revenue from the Battle Pass to the eSports event prize pool.
It looks like you can make some of your money back though (well, 600 R6 Credits which isn't even enough for the next battle pass if they decide to officially implement it) but with the amount of microtransactions available and obtainable Alpha packs, is this really a necessary addition?
The 2020 Road to Invitational event is out now and runs right through until February 16th.