February 27, 2020 Ubisoft has responded with comment.
Rainbow Six Siege‘s development team wants the game to go free-to-play at some point, according to director Leroy Athanassoff. However, Ubisoft has said there is “currently no plan to make Rainbow Six Siege a F2P game.”
“I think on the development team we want that at some point,” Athanassoff recently told PC Gamer. “We want the game to be accessible to everyone.” However, Athanassoff warned that “it’s a company decision”, so it may not happen imminently. He also said some things about the game would need to change – such as a proper solution to skilled players making fresh accounts in order to take advantage of rank-based matchmaking – before Ubisoft could make the switch: “You need certain features ready to be a good and successful free-to-play game.”
He continued: “What’s important for us is that we find out as soon as possible that a player is highly skilled in the things that matter. The problem right now is that you can play a certain amount of matches with copper[-ranked] players while you’re a diamond.”
Regardless, it’s interesting that the development team at Ubisoft Montreal (and, presumably, the auxiliary team at Ubisoft Barcelona), wants the game to rid itself of the paid barrier to entry. The base game costs $20 / £17 on Steam, though it is currently on sale for $8 / £6.79 and has held numerous free-to-play weekends over the years.
However, we reached out to Ubisoft to see what the company – not just the development team – thinks about the proposal. The studio tells us: “We are looking to continue to engage new players and retain our loyal community, however, there is currently no plan to make Rainbow Six Siege a F2P game.” So, it seems we won’t see Rainbow Six Siege move to a free-to-play model any time soon.
The developer also revealed recently that it’s considering a separate option for solo Siege players, who currently have no way of avoiding entering matchmaking with coordinated teams and are hence at a huge disadvantage. If such an option gets implemented, it could help break Rainbow Six Siege’s new peak player count record, which was set this past weekend.
Additional reporting by Carrie Talbot.