The likes of Apex Legends, Fortnite, and League of Legends have all proved that you don’t have to initially charge for a game to get the money rolling in, and the game director behind Rainbow Six Siege would like to see his game follow suit.
Speaking to PC Gamer at the Six Invitational – which has seen interest and viewership of Rainbow Six esports grow to new heights – Leroy Athanassoff says that he would love to see the game drop it’s price tag (which is around $20) and become “accessible to everyone.” However, he warns that that decision lies with the higher-ups at Ubisoft and that there’s one aspect of the game that needs some serious work before it could ever go completely free: Smurfing.
Anyone who’s played any kind of ranked game knows how infuriating smurfing can be, and Athanassoff says that it must be properly addressed before opening the floodgates to the entire gaming community.
“You need certain features ready to be a good and successful free-to-play game,” he says. “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 players while you’re a Diamond.”
The changes Athanassoff wants to make would likely see Siege’s matchmaking system and MMR algorithms tweaked, as well as potentially introducing a better way to monitor anomalous stats that would be typical of a smurf account.
Rainbow Six Siege has seen its playerbase grow to its largest size in the game’s five year history, with an average of 96,000 people jumping into the game over the last 30 days. Making an already popular game free-to-play could be the next step in driving those numbers even higher.