Go back five years and you’ll see most gaming companies drop support for a title as soon as it releases. Once a game is out the door, the publisher makes most of its money within the first month, then moves on to marketing the next one on the release calendar. Even with the advent of downloadable content (DLC), aside from the promotion of said DLC, it’s rare to find a company that continues supporting a game more than a month or two after it hits shelves.
With the growing popularity of eSports and professional gaming, companies have been paying close attention to the benefits of supporting games well after the release date. Riot Games is the perfect example of a company that has supported a single game for years and it’s paid dividends. Granted, League of Legends isn’t a typical game, and the financial returns for continued support are different than a more traditional game release model, but it has a lot of companies looking at eSports and brainstorming ways to keep their games in the public eye long after the initial release.
Ubisoft is one such company that’s taking a long, hard look at where it wants to be in the eSports realm and how it plans to reach that goal. While the company has had big success with franchises such as Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry, it hasn’t done well in the eSports realm. In fact, every attempt Ubisoft has made to create an eSports environment around a game has failed. Enter Rainbow Six: Siege and Ubisoft’s renewed commitment to eSports and supporting a game long after it releases.
It’s been a long time since Ubisoft released a game in the Rainbow Six series. Siege is somewhat of a departure from the Rainbow Six games of old. The new one focuses almost exclusively on the multiplayer experience and has all the makings of a competitive shooter. In fact, at the base level, Rainbow Six: Siege feels very much like Counter-Strike. For those unfamiliar with the eSports scene, Counter-Strike has been and still is one of the premiere FPS titles in competitive gaming.
Ubisoft hasn’t said much about potential hopes for Siege in the eSports scene, but plenty of competitive gaming sites are discussing the game already. If we take a close, hard look at Rainbow Six: Siege, it’s clear that the game has all the makings of an epic eSports title. The main mode of play pits two teams of five players each against one another in a hostage situation. One team leads an assault on a fortified location attempting to rescue the hostage, while the other team counters that assault.
There are three rounds of play (potentially more based on settings), each consisting of a one-minute preparation time, followed by a full three-minute round. The teams then switch sides after each round. At the beginning of each round the assaulting team determines their entry point and sends in drones to scout the inside of the structure and hopefully locate the hostage. Meanwhile, the counter assault team fortifies the location by placing barricades, laying traps, setting up shields and preparing to defend themselves.
If either team loses all five members, the round is lost. If the hostage dies, whichever team killed the hostage loses the round. If either team fails to complete their objective within three minutes, the round is lost. In addition, each player has only one life per round. If you die, you’re out until the next round begins. If you replace the hostage with a bomb, it sounds quite a bit like Counter-Strike, and that’s not a bad thing.
What makes this game different is that it takes everything players know and love about Counter-Strike and raises the bar. Running at 60 fps on high-end PCs, PS4 and the Xbox One, Rainbow Six: Siege uses the raw power of these gaming platforms to create an extremely immersive environment. Destruction is the name of the game as almost everything can be realistically destroyed. The tension builds as another member of your team sets off a trap and you’re suddenly outnumbered four to one. It’s the perfect game for viewers to sit back and enjoy, which is a must in the modern age of Twitch.tv and eSports.
With multiple classes available to the player, all the detail an FPS fan could ask for and an extreme focus on multiplayer, Rainbow Six: Siege is shaping up to be the eSports title Ubisoft has been hoping to release for years. The only question that remains is how long will the company support the title post-release. If previous eSports attempts from Ubisoft are any indication, the company will be in it for the long haul so long as the players keep the game active in the competitive scene.
We’ll have more on Rainbow Six: Siege in the coming months as we approach the presumed release date of the game later this year.