Thoughts on the Rainbow Six Siege Open Beta Delay

Although I’ve been around video games my whole life, I just recently started getting into online multiplayer games. As such, Rainbow Six Siege is really my first experience with it all; it’s even my first console game to play in beta. Ever since I learned about Siege, I was looking forward to playing the game. And even though I had a code for the closed beta, I missed it because of school assignments. So when they announced an open beta for the Thanksgiving holiday, I decided I was going to “be all up in this shit” as the saying goes.

I predownloaded the beta game file as soon as it became available in the PlayStation store (which, because of weird store refresh times, was the last platform to make the download available). Yesterday, after recording our weekly podcast, The UltCast, S3Prototype loaded up the game and we all took turns playing Terrorist Hunt because closed beta participants got early access. Between S3Prototype, ChrisMerenu, and me, we played/started at least 10 matches. I say ‘started’, because 1 in 3 matches resulted in lost connections to the host server, and this doesn’t include losing our spots in the matchmaking lobby before a match was even found.

I go home, turn on my PS4, and load up the beta just so that I can watch the tutorials and be prepared for gameplay as soon as the servers become available for the open beta. After doing so, I went to bed. I wake up in the morning and go straight to my PS4 to await open beta time, 9:00am CST. 9:00am rolls around still no access. 9:15, nothing. 9:45, nothing. Finally, at 10:00am CST, the public gets the first announcement that the open beta is delayed, because while doing a technical test of the closed beta, they located the source of the problem that resulted in the matchmaking and hosting issues. So instead of opening the beta to the public, knowing that they’ve found this issue and not doing anything about it, they decided to fix the problem as quickly as they can because they want us, the public, to have the best gameplay we can.

And what is the popular response to a delayed open beta? Complaints that Ubisoft always does this, how they are a failure of a game development company, and that the gamers are cancelling their pre-orders because Ubisoft has failed to deliver a free beta when they said they would.

Yes, I had plans to devote today to playing Siege. Yes, I am upset that I can’t play it yet, when it was supposed to go live over 7 hours ago. Yes, the game is now 6 days away from launch and they are still having matchmaking issues, but that is the purpose of the beta. This beta is a stress test to ensure that the servers can handle the load of players on the actual and official release date. I have not pre-ordered the game, but if I had, no, I would not cancel my order simply because of this.

Overall, I am sad that I haven’t gotten to play Siege on my own account and on my own system yet, but I would rather them delay the release of a free open beta to allow better matchmaking capabilities now than to try to fix it when the beta is over, leaving them with only one day to patch it and not getting a test run of the new code before the official release. So even though I am sad, I feel like Ubisoft has made the right decision and I am looking forward to playing the beta (and the game) when it is released.

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege will be released Tuesday, December 1st, for the PlayStation 4, XBox One, and PC.

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