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Published: July 12, 2021

Written by: Barney


  • Rainbow Six Siege is currently among the most popular first-person shooter games
  • However, the game wasn’t always in this state 
  • It took the developers a lot of time and effort to popularize the game and keep it alive

Despite having fairly humble origins, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege grew a lot because of the developers’ passion, dedication, and hard work that helped it get through hard times.

Creating a Success 

Despite being released in 2015 by Ubisoft, the first-person shooter known as Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege had a bumpy road before becoming the powerhouse it is today. However, the hard work of the developers eventually paid off. 

At first, Rainbow Six Siege was a fairly unpopular game that struggled to stand on equal ground with its main competitors: other shooter titles such as the Call of Duty Franchise and Overwatch. This applied both in terms of game and in terms of esports.

One of the main reasons was Rainbow Six Siege’s state- it was full of bugs and issues that needed fixing. The developers finally got to it in 2017 when they undertook the task of dramatically improving the game. It was appropriately titled “Operation Health.” However, the games’ real spike in popularity came in 2018’s iteration of the esports event series called the Six Invitational. It was exciting, offered a large prize pool of $500,000, and gathered the attention of numerous viewers. 

According to statistics, the event reached double the usual viewership. Moreover, in 2018 the number of invited teams to the Six Invitational event rose to 16. Accordingly, with time, the developers of the game’s competitive side also went up. The R6 events increased in production quality as the producers added more thematic effects. 

The Rainbow Six Share Program – A Way to Create a Community

Ubisoft’s esports product manager Maxime Vial and the company’s esports director Wei Yue have revealed that they have been deeply inspired by the way Blizzard and Dota 2 handle things. The two esports professionals elaborated that those fellow game developers create a community by not merely hosting competitive events but also focusing on other events such as dramatic character reveals and thematic costume contests that let fans input their own creativity. Ubisoft began seeking to replicate this in its own manner. 

As a part of that, Rainbow Six Siege introduced the Pilot Program, later known as the Rainbow Six Share program – it is basically a program that allows organizations to design weapons and skins for the game. Those are later put in the game’s store, with the creators receiving 30% of the selling price. Not only does this allow fans to make their own contributions to the game and get their hands on a larger variety of skins, but it also provides the organization with various benefits. 

The CEO of esports organization Disrupt Gaming, Mark Flood, told The Washington Post that Rainbow Six Siege’s Share program has found the exact balance between profiting from the business and helping organizations do the same. Flood added that this makes Rainbow Six Siege much more approachable for organizations who can’t afford a groundbreaking sponsorship as they have an easy way to earn income without having significant expenses. 

Despite the development team’s solid foundation, the game still experienced its fair share of struggles during the pandemic. 

The Rainbow Six Siege esports scene was booming with several exciting events coming up. However, the quarantine ruined a lot of those plans. This created a ripple effect that eventually led to some of the best teams quitting the game in the North American region. 

Things are a bit less dire outside of NA as many teams kept their rosters and hoped that the hard times would pass. In that time, the Share program proved invaluable as it helped teams survive. 

This year saw the return of the Six Invitational series. With enough time, the game will once again bloom as its dedicated team has helped it get through hardships more than once.

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