One of the defining elements of Ubisoft’s team-based tactical shooter Rainbow Six Siege is that players have only one life per round. There is no respawning until the round is over.
Before the game’s release, and continuing to this day, there are people inside Ubisoft who wanted to add respawning to help the game appeal to a wider audience. But it’s not happening, and that’s because it would negatively impact the experience, developers say.
In a new video from Ubisoft, the game’s lead designer Jean-Baptiste Hall recalled that someone very high up at Ubisoft said they were certain respawning would be included in Siege, but the developer ultimately got its way.
“I know someone at Ubisoft who is in a very high creative position who said, ‘Oh, [no respawning] is the first thing that’s going to get cut.’ I’m really happy that he was wrong,” Halle said. “[No respawning] felt like something that would never pass the gate; it would never be validated.”
Halle said that in early playtests for Siege featuring no respawning, players moved, looked, and listened in new ways that heightened the tension. “Everything changed immediately. We could see that the relation we had with our character and our surrounding was completely different,” he said, comparing it to an earlier version that had respawning.
Game director Leroy Athanassoff is also featured in the video, and he echoed what Halle said about how no respawning increases the tension.
“If I knew that I was able to respawn, I would probably just sprint around, exploring the map, maybe I get shot but I don’t care, I can come back,” he said. “[But with no respawning] I have just one life. It instantly created the tension we were searching for.”
Athanassoff went on to say that, throughout Siege’s production, people have come in to tell him that adding respawning could help grow the game’s popularity. But Athanassoff has maintained that this is a bad idea, and it’s been shot down every time.
“Yes, clearly, and I won’t deny it: games with respawning are more accessible by nature. It’s maybe more appealing and less scary … but also, the taste and the experience you have is not with the same intensity,” he said.
Siege is doing very well for itself, as it’s attracted more than 50 million people so far. The game launched in a somewhat rocky state back in 2015, and its turnaround has been one of the biggest comeback stories in all of gaming in recent years.
In other news, Ubisoft has confirmed that the operator Tachanka is getting major overhaul with an upcoming update. Additionally, Ubisoft has said Siege should be available for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X at launch, featuring multiplayer cross-play with PS4 and Xbox One. On top of that, a new Lara Croft skin is coming to Siege for the character Ash.
The next Rainbow Six game is Rainbow Six: Quarantine, which is a three-player tactical co-op shooter that’s in development for PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC, in addition to current-generation consoles.
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