Taking a page out of Fortnite’s book, Ubisoft is ratcheting up the shameless money-grabbing with its latest monetization scheme, the Rainbow Six Siege: Battle Pass.
Announced last week via a video dripping with marketing team-prepared fluff and promises of more rewards for the players, the Rainbow Six Siege: Battle Pass is the latest step in Ubisoft all encompassing monetization of the tactical shooter.
Ubisoft has been rather cunning in how it plans to deploy it by first releasing a free ”Call me Harry” Mini Battle Pass, dubbed Phase 1 that launches in tandem with Season 3. It runs for one week, and through play, players amass battle points that unlock up to four cosmetic rewards through a seven-tiered system, culminating in an underwhelming digital Harry Chibi charm for completing the pass.
There’s no problem there. We all love free content and rewards directly linked to the time invested in the game. But, in reality, Ubisoft is dangling the carrot for the next phase.
Phase 2 starts in Season 4 and is a whole other kettle of fish, featuring a fully-fledged Battle Pass with a free track and a premium track. Once again, players accumulate battle points that unlock Rainbow Six Siege rewards for completing goals.
In other words, the free tier will be available to every player for no extra costs and unlock a slew of basic rewards, while the pay-walled premium track will be assigned an as-yet-unannounced price and unlocks a range of exclusive cosmetics and gear. As always, simply paying won’t immediately bank the exclusive content and players will have to grind through the tiers for the pleasure.
Where matters tiptoe into murky territory is when we consider that Rainbow Six Siege already has a $30.00 yearly Season Pass, granting early access to operators alongside exclusive cosmetics, and other ostensibly VIP perks.
Alongside, Rainbow Six Siege has an extensive non-time limited monetization setup that includes elite sets, renown boosters, alpha pack collections, and DLC bundles exclusive to certain digital stores like Steam.
Amid the minutiae of this convoluted system, it’s also easy to forget that players have to fork out the cost of a triple-A title to own the game.
In what appears to be a strategic move on Ubisoft’s part to test the waters and effectively see how far they can go before weathering player push back, there’s no indication whether the Season Pass will feature as part of the Battle Pass.
In keeping with Ubisoft’s history of being coy, the silence is pretty telling as inclusion would logically feature as a central selling point. If it isn’t included, then all this makes Rainbow Six Siege the most monetized triple-A game currently available.