Although Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege is a multiplayer game involving two teams killing each other to complete objectives, some in-game assets featuring violence, gambling, blood, and sexual themes will soon be wiped from the game. The reasoning behind this change is the game's expansion into Asian regions such as China.
In today's announcement, Ubisoft revealed that the changes will not be exclusive to an Asian specific client, with the removal taking place on the main build of the game, available globally. The studio assured players that the gameplay side of things will remain intact, with only the visual aspects being changed.
For example, the knife melee kill icon will be changed over to a fist, with skulls in both the UI and maps being replaced with alternate symbols. On the other hand, gambling machines and environmental blood splatters are being completely removed.
This decision to not make an alternate low-violence version was attributed to reducing "the duplication of work on the development side," with the studio adding:
Having the same people working on a singular global version of the game ensures we only need to do the work once. In addition, we can guarantee that any future changes are aligned with the global regulations we are working towards.
Rather confusingly, in a later post by the Ubisoft community manager Jenny Feng on Reddit, it was revealed that there will, in fact, be a branch build for Asia. "Moving forward, we do recognize and understand that for some elements, it is not possible to have a completely global build," she explained in the post. "Thus, there will be some things that are split build-wise. While our goal is to maintain as close a parallel as possible between builds, we will also not compromise the core integrity of the gameplay and mechanics as they exist currently."
Region locks will also be in place, where players on this branch will be barred from joining servers on global data centers and vice versa. It's unclear why the visual changes aren't just applied to the Asia region version in this case.
As expected, the announcement hasn't gone down well with the community, with quite a few angry posts being highly upvoted on the official Rainbow Six Siege subreddit, calling the changes censorship. A specific date has not been announced for when these changes will be implemented just yet.