Written by DocWhiskey
In stunning Ubisoft fasion, the game dev giant has once again gone and globally rocked the boat that is it’s playerbase. In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last week, Ubi has made it known that several “aesthetic changes” will be coming to the game with the Year 3 Season 4 patch to accommodate its release into the Chinese market, namely the changing of information icons, the removal of skulls, and references to sex or gambling. In what could only be described as the typical EA response, Ubi has essentially elected to turtle and withhold a proper response to the community backlash that has been plaguing the various subreddits aside from one response from the community manager, UbiNoty, who references a separate build for the Chinese market, but also states that the Siege dev team has no plans for maintaining a truly separate build between China and the rest of the world, and is forcing the changes into every version of the game.
“To help allay some concerns about the changes and the future. Moving forward, we do recognize and understand that for some elements, it is not possible to have a completely global build. Thus, there will be some things that are split build-wise.While our goal is to maintain as close a parallel as possible between builds,we will also not compromise the core integrity of the gameplay and mechanicsas they exist currently. For additional clarification, this branched build will be region locked, and will not have access to the worldwide data centers to engage with our existing player base – furthermore, VPNs will not function as a workaround.” -UbiNoty
Aesthetically speaking these changes will have very little impact on the core gameplay, with the exception being the removal of the slot machines from Clubhouse, which are physical objects. Will this break the map and create a whole new set of strategies for defending that area of the map? Probably not, but the potential is there and some clever players will certainly find a way to take advantage of the changes. Aside from that, the rest of the changes are being done to the map artwork rather than physical space itself, by removing some of the static blood pools and spatters on the floors and walls, as well as the removal of the neon-lit stripper on Clubhouse, because Chairman Zedong would clearly not approve of this heinous act of promiscuity. The biggest problem with all these changes is that by the logic of the Chinese regulations have stated that certain things are “too violent”, in a game centered around shooting each other in the face and instead of doing the right thing and creating a second build for the region, which Ubisoft has already said is going to happen anyway, and keeping things the way they are as they stand currently for the live build in the rest of the world. Honestly speaking, it’s not likely that the changes would’ve gone unnoticed if Ubisoft hadn’t said anything to begin with, but they sure wouldn’t have attracted as much attention if they’d have just kept quiet about it.
Whether for or against, or of no opinion, it is clear that players are upset about these changes, because they feel as if the Chinese market is imposing them on the game itself, and while that is technically true, it was Ubisoft’s decision to handle it the way they did. Getting your pants in a twist over Tencent or any of the thousands of other Chinese developers won’t change their policy on games, however with enough out-speak maybe we as a community can make Ubisoft realize that they made a mistake here. One thing remains to be seen, and that’s the full release of Operation Wind Bastion. If the release goes smoothly, then there will likely be very little to worry about, but if it gets released in the state that Grim Sky was then there will be some serious problems for the devs to contend with.
Reforged Gaming is a multinational Community that prides itself on the exceptional people we have here. Come check us out at our Discord for games like Overwatch, Rainbow Six, Starcraft II, Fallout: 76. and many more. Hope to see you around! -Doc