#GamingBytes: Ubisoft censors Rainbow 6 Siege before release, angers gamers
In an unforeseen move, 'Rainbow 6 Siege' developer, Ubisoft, announced that it would be introducing 'aesthetic changes' to the game before it releases for Asian territories. The stated changes, which will be applicable globally, mostly center around removing the violence, sex, and gambling. Since seasoned lovers of the game are already accustomed to these aspects, they expressed displeasure at this act of censorship.
On the right side of the authorities
Ubisoft said changes would be introduced as a part of their Year 3 Season 4 update. It would include adjustments made to icons and maps to 'ensure compliance'. While what it is complying with is not clarified, it is assumed it refers to local regulations.
A list of all the aesthetic changes
Among the changes coming in-game, Siege's melee icon will be altered from a knife to a fist. Across the game, skulls will be removed as icons and in-game wall art. Blood splatter, slot machines, and a pole-dancer neon sign are among other things removed from the game. Notably, these changes have likely been made, anticipating a China release, where gaming content is severely restricted.
Censorship and laziness compound Ubisoft's problems
Not only have fans accused Ubisoft of censorship but also laziness. Ubisoft had, itself, admitted to introducing a uniform global model to reduce workload. The studio said that it was trying to minimize duplication of work for different regions and its future updates too would comply to a uniform global standard. Naturally, fans are displeased by what appears to be flimsy reasoning by Ubisoft.
If you can't convince them, confuse them
Although Ubisoft assured gamers that core gameplay aspects that made Siege recognizable would stay the same, fans are not convinced. Ubisoft further complicated matters by issuing a seemingly contradictory statement which says some aspects of the game would be region specific, instead of uniformly global. Fans quickly rushed to ask if gameplay aspects could be region specific, why not the in-game aesthetics.
Multiculturalism in the gaming industry
Ubisoft's strict compliance with a uniform global standard raises important questions. Developers need to think of a uniform standard for games, without offending any culture. However, for individual players, a game is an isolated interactive experience, without the ramifications of sensitive multiculturalism. Considering culture is similar, except certain nuances, regionally, Ubisoft should have region-locked in-game changes to appease cultural sensitivity and its gamer base.