Rainbow Six: Patriots Was Canceled to Allow for a "Next-Gen Experience"

One of Patriots' developers explains why that game was dropped in favor of Rainbow Six: Siege.

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Rainbow Six fans are finally getting a new game in Rainbow Six: Siege, but what about Patriots, the previously planned game that had been in development for several years? According to the developer, it was dropped in favor of Siege because it wanted to provide "a next-gen experience," and it was simply easier to "clean the slate" and start fresh.

Speaking with Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Patriots assistant graphic technical director Olivier Couture described how the game's roots in last-generation hardware contributed to its cancelation. "To be completely transparent, I worked on Patriots--on Rainbow Six for three-and-a-half years--and Patriots was old-gen," he said. "Xbox 360 and PS3. Next-gen consoles were just around the corner, and we were like, 'OK, we want to also have a next-gen experience. What can we do for that?'

"We were trying stuff out with destruction technology, and we realized destruction really changes the game. We tried to see how it could fit with old-gen, but it just didn't work out. So for us it was just a better solution to clean the slate, reset, and make what's best for the players.”

This all tracks with what Ubisoft's Tony Key said last year when it was announced that Patriots had shifted from last-generation systems to Xbox One and PlayStation 4. "Rainbow 6 got caught in the transition of going to next-gen and essentially we're figuring out 'well, are we making the right game for the right hardware systems?'" Key said last June. In August, Ubisoft's Alain Corre said the company was "iterating" on Patriots, but would not confirm whether it would continue to use that name.

Patriots had been planned as a story-focused game where a counter-terrorism squad was tasked with dealing with American insurgents going by the name True Patriots. Ubisoft said players would have to deal with "tough ethical decisions."

So far, there is no sign of any of this being present in Rainbow Six: Siege, which was announced last week at E3. What we've seen so far is fun (if troubling with the way it handles women), but it's all been multiplayer. The game will, however, have a single-player component, though Couture says he can't discuss it because the scope "is not completely clear yet." He also said, "I can't say if it will be more cinematic [like Patriots was] yet."

Siege, which has been in the works for about 18 months, will launch in 2015 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.

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