Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege exhibits continued growth into Year 5, as Ubisoft's hit tactical shooter clocks over 55 million players in the leadup to the launch of Operation Void Edge. The past year has proven one of the game's most successful yet, packing countless quality-of-life improvements, supporting a regular flow of seasonal content. And while Ubisoft has made strides in tackling cheating and toxicity, top content creators voice concerns over tools to protect broadcasters.
Many creators find themselves targets of "stream sniping," a controversial method of using a live video feed to gain an unfair advantage, disrupting the fundamentals of gameplay. In Rainbow Six Siege, that involves watching a popular streamer while matched together in-game, using their broadcast to obtain vital information on strategies and whereabouts. Whether matched by chance or manipulating the matchmaking queuing system, it provides a platform for cheating or harassment, and regularly ruins broadcasts for some.
The prevalence of stream sniping and queue sniping continues to impact creators, with many now requesting the inclusion of a dedicated streaming mode to curb the behavior. Already adopted by top shooters like Fortnite and Apex Legends, the tool helps anonymize players, masking names while in-game.
"I am unable to enjoy the game in a fair 5v5 environment," said Niclas "Pengu" Mouritzen, professional Rainbow Six Siege player for G2 Esports, with over 630,000 followers on Twitch. "[E]very time big streamers tries [sic] out our game they get nothing but cheesed by snipers."
"This whole game revolves around information, stream sniping ruins the most core aspect of this game. Can't overstate how bad it hurts streamers in Siege; it's like playing poker and everyone seeing your hand," said Macie Jay, a Rainbow Six Siege-centric Twitch streamer, with over 745,000 followers.
"I love Rainbow Six Siege. I also love streaming. But I do not love streaming Rainbow Six Siege," adds Rainbow Six Siege creator Get_Flanked, with over 440,000 subscribers on YouTube. "Over the years, I've played and created content for several different FPSes, and I have streamed just about all of them that I've made content for. And in my opinion, there is no FPS I've ever played that is as difficult to stream and enjoy streaming than Rainbow Six Siege."
While the implementation of a dedicated Streamer Mode might not impact the whole Rainbow Six Siege player base, creators stress the impact on brand image. As its following continues to scale, some claim the issue pushes new personalities away from broadcasting the game.
"This is so much bigger than people think, our community loses out on so much free promotion from big streamers that don't want to touch Siege because of how easy it is to snipe," said BikiniBodhi, a Rainbow Six Siege YouTuber with over 1.3 million subscribers.
"I know people aren't generally in favor of features that don't appear to benefit the playerbase as a whole, but there are so many casual audiences that aren't enticed because their favorite streamer can't enjoy the game," adds AnneMunition, a Twitch streamer with over 590,000 followers. "I love Siege but it's become a nightmare to stream."
While implementing a delay can alleviate the impact of cheating and harassment for streamers, many say it undermines the interactive nature of the medium. Suggestions include providing an integrated tool to mask usernames or add further preventatives for targeted toxicity. And while Ubisoft is yet to comment on its plans surrounding the feature, it remains a hot topic among the top voices in the community.
Breach and Clear
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege
Addictively challenging tactical shooter action
Ubisoft's hit shooter is hotter than ever, touting tense tactical gameplay, and regular free updates. Entering 2020 with millions of players, Rainbow Six isn't slowing down.
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