Plenty of major PC and console franchises have made successful jumps to mobile in recent years, and several more are looking to follow in their footsteps- and when it comes to shooters, there aren’t a lot of games that are bigger than Ubisoft’s Rainbow Six Siege. In that sense, the upcoming Rainbow Six Mobile has massive expectations to live up to, with the game promising a faithful translation of the tactical shooter to mobile devices, but its development team is confident that the it’s going to make good on those lofty promises. To learn more about how Rainbow Six Mobile is going to do that and what players can expect from its controls, modes, monetizaton, and more, we recently reached out to its developers with several questions about the game. Below, you can read our interview with lead game designer Oliver Albarracin and creative director Justin Swan.
"We focused on what matters most in Siege: the tactical shooter feeling, using your environment, gadgets and working with your team to overcome the enemy in close quarter combat. Our team of mobile experts and working closely with the Siege team also help us stay true to the Siege experience."
Rainbow Six has seen massive success on PC and consoles, especially with Rainbow Six Siege over the last several years. Is it a daunting task to try and replicate something like that for mobile devices, or do you view it more as an interesting challenge? Or a bit of both, perhaps?
It has definitely been a challenging but rewarding experience in bringing Siege on to mobile. We have built an amazing team filled with mobile experts who have worked really hard to make Siege from the ground up on a new engine. We learnt a lot from the Siege team and have worked very closely with them. They have given us foresight and data to help us nail many mechanics. Yes, it can be daunting, but we have been very transparent from the start about our process and really want to bring Siege that the community wants. We made some changes after the Alpha, we are now in Beta and can expect additional changes as we listen and adapt to our audience’s feedback.
How confident are you that the Rainbow Six experience can be properly adapted as a mobile game without losing too much of what makes it tick?
Rainbow Six Mobile reproduces the same experience you have playing Siege on Console or PC but optimized for the mobile experience. Our philosophy was to keep all the core features – Camera, Control and Character – that Siege has and make them more seamless and natural to execute for the mobile controls. We focused on what matters most in Siege: the tactical shooter feeling, using your environment, gadgets and working with your team to overcome the enemy in close quarter combat. Our team of mobile experts and working closely with the Siege team also help us stay true to the Siege experience.
"The reality of mobile is how many different types of devices there are, all with different aspect ratios, the processing power and RAM. Having a smooth and intuitive experience has been the focus from the start of production. And the HUD, Controls and input systems are things that we will continue to reiterate on."
Specifically where things like controls, the user interface, and the like are concerned, how much tweaking have you had to do to ensure that the game can be comfortably played on smaller touch screen devices?
Yes, the reality of mobile is how many different types of devices there are, all with different aspect ratios, the processing power and RAM. Having a smooth and intuitive experience has been the focus from the start of production. And the HUD, Controls and input systems are things that we will continue to reiterate on. What we have done though is focus on trying to make everybody feel like a pro, an example is to automate some systems and make it easy for players to execute complex actions. An example would be movement transitions: You can walk then sprint then vault over an object just by doing one swipe of your thumb. Instead of multiple inputs on console or PC. Of course if players would rather have a separate input to do all this, we have the options for players to do this in the settings. We have also added many customization options to help players refine how they want to setup their controls and HUD.
Does the hardware of mobile devices prevent Rainbow Six Mobile from doing anything that players might consider core to Rainbow Six Siege?
Many phones nowadays can surpass the performance of consoles and even PCs. You would be surprised to see what is under the hood in some of the new phones and they will only get better. But the biggest hurdle is bringing Rainbow Six Mobile to the lower spec phones. We have benchmarks for a variety of phones to ensure we bring a fair Siege experience to all players. We have brought all the core mechanics that is core to Siege and our phones within our benchmarks will have an immersive environment, solid destruction, high frame rates, smooth gun fights and a highly competitive tactical shooter experience.
Beyond its core 5v5 mode, which looks like a faithful adaptation of the Siege formula, are you looking to add more modes and experiences that are designed specifically around the mobile experience?
Yes, we have focused a huge part of our development to be live ready. We have developed many tools and levers to allow our game to be flexible and feel alive. Game modes are a huge part of this as we have planned many LTE (Limited Time Events) planned that we’re not able to comment on quite yet but excited to share soon!
"We want R6M to be a fair experience and want the game to be a highly competitive. Players will be able to unlock operators, attachments and cosmetics for free by playing the game."
How will you approach monetizing the game?
We want R6M to be a fair experience and want the game to be a highly competitive. Players will be able to unlock operators, attachments and cosmetics for free by playing the game. We do have a new system called tickets, where players can try an operator and if they try an operator enough times, they unlock them. We will also have a battle pass and a shop to purchase cosmetics, such as skins, weapons and avatars.
What can you tell us about your plans for Rainbow Six Mobile’s ongoing support in terms of things such as seasonal content, battle passes, and more?
We will have short engaging seasons, with a release of one operator per season. There will be different events and game modes and the possibility of a new map. There will also be a battle pass with lots of content and leaderboards to climb. And in the future we will have a Ranked mode which we will talk about on a later date.