Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege soon enters half a decade of post-launch updates, with its Year 5 unveiling scheduled for the Six Invitational 2020. The yearly homecoming for Ubisoft's hit tactical shooter kicks off in Montreal this February, hosting the top Rainbow Six teams for one week of competitive play. That concludes with a full breakdown of the upcoming Year 5 Season 1 expansion, while also laying the groundwork for months ahead.
The next wave of updates also suggests the "Year 5 Pass," a return of Ubisoft's premium membership, granting exclusive benefits across the Rainbow Six Siege ecosystem. Inclusion of the eight upcoming Operators (with seven-day early access) headlines the pass, eliminating a need to purchase them with in-game currency. The past memberships also granted exclusive cosmetic items, progression boosters, and discounts, all at the benefit of Rainbow regulars.
But with the reveal of Rainbow Six Siege Year 5 on the horizon, discussion brews surrounding the absence of the Year 5 Pass. The annual membership has consistently hit digital storefronts around mid-December, paired with immediate rewards, and laying the foundations for the seasons ahead. But the Year 5 Pass is yet to be seen one month later, with no indication of its release from Ubisoft. So, where is it?
With Ubisoft silent on upcoming content plans in early 2020, some players now question the status of the Year 5 Pass. Ubisoft has abided to a tight schedule throughout the lifecycle of Rainbow Six Siege, in turn enabling players to anticipate each significant update and their connecting milestones.
But it appears Rainbow Six Siege is facing changes behind the scenes, revising its approach to monetization, alongside an internal reshuffle of its core leads. Surpassing 50 million players to date, and recently topping its record active users, Ubisoft has steadily trialed new revenue streams beyond standard one-item purchases.
After detailing the success of limited-time event packs during Ubisoft's Q2 2019 earnings call, Chief Financial Officer Frédérick Duguet highlights the Battle Pass as its next key opportunity. The new progression brings a second premium pass, loaded with exclusive rewards and narrative hooks. But like the Year 5 Pass, it's also missing in action, after quietly skipping a promised reveal alongside Operation Shifting Tides.
While there's always chance Rainbow Six Siege could scrap its Year 5 Pass entirely, a brief delay into February appears the more likely scenario. Current resources on the Battle Pass could shift priorities away from the Year 5 Pass until the next season reveal. Alternatively, Ubisoft could be exploring deeper integration between the two memberships and providing more value to regular players. It would make sense, encouraging players to adopt both purchases, amid concerns of increased monetization.
It's also worth highlighting that until Year 4, Ubisoft unveiled its future roadmap at the tail end of each "Season 4" update, encouraging early season pass buy-ins from December. That changed in 2019, with the Year 4 roadmap held until the Six Invitational 2019, and leaving two months for an ambiguous $30 purchase.
It follows a rough period for sister-series Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint, facing criticism for its monetization approach, selling weapons, attachments, cosmetics, and more. While a vastly different beast to Rainbow Six Siege, it easy to speculate how poor performance has bred caution across the publisher's portfolio. And with Rainbow Six Siege praised among today's top shooters, it's clear Ubisoft wants to get things right for 2020.
While chatter has gone dark on Rainbow Six Siege's Battle Pass and Year 5 Pass, a promising content lineup is brewing. Current official teasers allude to Greek-themed updates, with various leaks providing insight into concepts explored at the studio. This pairs with first images of the next mid-season event, host to the upcoming Stadium map, and new Olympic-themed cosmetics. Ubisoft is expected to reveal Year 5 on February 16 at the Six Invitational 2020, with our full roundup assembling the essentials you need to know.
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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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