Global outrage forces game maker to reverse plans to censor Rainbow Six Siege for China
Ubisoft originally censored the game for China, but changed their mind after a backlash
Earlier this month, Ubisoft said it would remove blood, sex, and gambling references from its hit game Rainbow Six Siege because it’s preparing to push the game into “Asian territories”.
That meant, for instance, turning a neon sign of a stripper into… a neon sign of a hand.
But soon after the company went through with these changes, a massive backlash emerged, with fans in the West protesting that Ubisoft is capitulating to Chinese censorship.
Amid this huge backlash, Ubisoft announced that the game, in its newest update, will be reverting those changes to their original states after "the conversation with our community".
In fact, Rainbow Six Siege players have been making their voices heard in a big way since this controversy started. Gamers bombarded Steam with more than 2,200 negative reviews in the span of four days.
One of the most upvoted comments on Steam said, “Ubisoft is censoring the game for all of us to appease China and acting like that’s a good thing.”
Another wrote, “Removing blood splatter on walls to appeal to China...? Really?”
Many negative comments also took a sarcastic tone, writing, “[This review has been censored by the People's Republic of China.]”
The weirdest thing about Ubisoft’s move is that they could have built a China-specific version of the game with these changes just like plenty of other games. PUBG Mobile, for instance, has two China-only versions, both of which change the splattering of blood into that of paintballs.
But Ubisoft didn’t do that. Instead, they’re risking the wrath of their global audience with one single version, saying that it would help “reduce the duplication of work on the development side.”
In response to that, a Steam comment wrote, “Make a separate build for China, k thx.”
Meanwhile, there are also a lot of Chinese players on Steam now saying that Western gamers’ vitriol is misdirected at them.
A Chinese netizen wrote, “[This is an example of] Chinese gamers being blamed because of their government.”