When Ubisoft announced Rainbow Six Siege was going to halt the production of new content and work on fixing the game way back in June 2017, it divided the community. Some were happy that major problems, like dodgy servers or the matchmaking system, were finally being improved, while others were disappointed that they weren’t going to get their hands on new content.
The existence of that season, known as Operation Health, is still a divisive subject, but it doesn’t stop people calling for a second iteration of it. Siege is in a much healthier position today than it was this time four years ago, but like most competitive FPS games out there, it still has its issues.
However, the game’s development team is now confident it can continue to strike a balance between improving the game and providing new content, and rules out ever having to do a Operation Health again.
“Operation Health was a punctual choice that needed to be done at the time,” Emilien Lomet, game designer, tells The Loadout. “Since then, our production schedule has evolved significantly so we can produce health content as well as regular content. This season, the seasons before it, and the ones after it, all have health content.
“Maintaining and improving a game like Siege cannot reasonably be done by having a specific season dedicated to it – it’s something we’re working on all the time. As such, the whole concept of an Operation Health no longer makes sense from a production standpoint.”
Lomet makes a good point too. North Star, Siege’s latest operation, brings so much to the table in terms of core gameplay improvements. From preventing single bullet hole peeks to corpse changes, Ubisoft has prioritised competitive integrity this season and it really shows.
Plus, the development team is clearly thinking about the future of Siege with new mechanics like gameplay after death, and although Lomet admits it is controversial, it’s how the team plans on carving out a new path in this competitive genre.
“Some large core gameplay changes, like gameplay after death, are part of the global vision of Siege,” he continues. “[These are] elements that date back to the inception of the game that we’re finally able to implement and test. Siege always had a very involved approach when it comes to our preparation and support phase – it’s what makes this game unique.
“Sure, some are afraid of its implication because it goes against the standard mantra of this industry, but this is where innovation comes from. Plus, Siege would have never seen the light of day if our team had chosen to simply abide by the norm.”
It’s clear that while some players believe Siege needs a second Operation Health-style update, Ubisoft seems confident in its ability to continually improve the experience without having to turn off the tap on the content pipeline.