Like blockbuster films, most wildly successful video games get sequels. A healthy franchise is so lucrative that, when a game takes off, publishers can hardly afford not to work on part two. But with Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, Ubisoft is doing something different. It has no plans to start working on a sequel. Instead, as brand director Alexandre Remy said at Rainbow Six Invitational 2018, the company plans to support Siege for another 10 years.
Ten years might as well be an eternity in video games. Bungie also mentioned a decade’s worth of support for Destiny before it came out. They just didn’t mention “support” would include Destiny 2 and, in a couple years, Destiny 3. Where Bungie meant it would support the franchise for 10 years, Ubisoft aims to support a single game. That’s a big difference.
Such lengthy support for a single title isn’t entirely unprecedented in gaming. World of Warcraft first launched in 2004, and it’s still going strong. League of Legends is still popular in its ninth year. But Rainbow Six Siege is a shooter made by the same company that’s about to release Far Cry 5. This one feels different because Ubisoft is venturing into unfamiliar territory.
For the uninitiated, Rainbow Six Siege is an online shooter that has two teams face off against each other in tense battles that involve a lot of environmental destruction. Players play as Operators, each of whom has unique weapons and gadgets. Right now, you can choose from a list of 36 Operators. Eight more are coming in the Year 3 schedule. Remy says they plan to release 100 Operators throughout the game’s lifecycle.
Siege first launched in 2015 to a relatively weak reception. But Ubisoft kept supporting and improving it in an effort to attract new players. Currently, the game has reached 27 million players and boasts a large, dedicated player base.
The next expansion, called Operation Chimera, comes out March 6. It includes two new Operators and a co-op mode called Outbreak. Outbreak is different from the core game in that it has you fight alien zombies. It will only be available for four weeks. Whether you jump in now or not, don’t expect Rainbow Six Siege to go away anytime soon.