Update: November 26, 9.00 pm GMT / 4 pm EST
In case you missed it, the Rainbow Six Siege Open Beta is, er, now open. After a false start yesterday, plagued with connection instability and matchmaking problems, Ubisoft pulled the beta pending fixes with the intention of re-enabling it today. And enable it they did:
We are happy to confirm we will be launching the Rainbow Six Siege open beta at 12pm EST.
We want to thank everyone who is participating in this beta. Your feedback helps us improve. For everyone who hasn’t been able to play as yet, we apologize for the inconvenience and we appreciate your patience and understanding.
We are proud of what Rainbow Six Siege has to offer and we wish you the greatest experience possible.
It’s fair to say there has been a certain degree of ire from the expectant fans, and the level of confidence in Ubisoft – and the release of the title – is running low.
Update: November 25, 11.15 pm GMT / 6.15 pm EST
There’s been another update from Ubisoft, and it’s not good news for the Rainbow Six Siege Open Beta – for today, at least:
As communicated with you today, we have performed a maintenance on XB1, PS4 and PC this afternoon. Some platforms are still under maintenance but we are working to complete them as quickly as we can. We will be monitoring how the fixes impact the game experience throughout the night. We will give you another update tomorrow at 10AM EST. In the meantime, our Closed Beta continues. Please give us your feedback now that the update has happened and tell us how the experience is for you. Thank you for your patience and cooperation.
Maybe tomorrow, Clancy fans.
Update: November 25, 6 pm GMT / 1 pm EST
Shortly after the 3 pm launch, several people got in touch on our Twitter to say that the Rainbow Six Siege Open Beta was not working, with tweets like this:
— Steve J (@stevo0115) November 25, 2015
Something is seriously wrong, because Ubisoft have since announced the Rainbow Six Siege Open Beta is “delayed”. Here’s the full details from one of their community managers, in a thread on the subject on the Ubisoft forums:
We’re currently seeing issues with matchmaking times and disconnection on all platforms. As such we’re postponing the Open Beta until a later time and keeping the game under Closed Beta status. We apologize for the delay and can assure you this is our top priority. We will keep everyone updated regularly as we continue to deploy improvements.
It’s fair to say, given Ubisoft’s relatively poor recent track record for bugs and troubled releases, the gaming public are being less than charitable about it. Here’s hoping they learn from the issues at hand and put it right before the already delayed game’s release proper.
There’s currently no definite timeframe on when the Rainbow Six Siege Open Beta will re-open, but we’ll keep you posted.
Want to try before you buy? The Rainbow Six Siege Open Beta is now open for business.
It might seem a little crazy, running a beta test very close to a game’s release, but it’s not the worst idea in the world.
Treyarch ran their Black Ops III beta back in August, two short months before release, and they came out with a smorgasbord of little tweaks and changes based on server-side statistics and player feedback that they claim dramatically improved the game’s multiplayer modes prior to release. In another example, EA and DICE dramatically Nerfed the Walker Assault missions because feedback from the Star Wars Battlefront public beta – five weeks before release – told them it was too difficult for the rebels to win… but isn’t that kind of the point of the Battle of Hoth? Anyway, I digress.
Ubisoft have literally this minute – 3 pm GMT, or 10 am EST – cut the ribbon on the Rainbow Six Siege Open Beta, just six short days before the game releases.
Now, we’re all for as robust a testing process as possible, and any more testing you can do over and above what you’ve already done can never be a bad thing, but six days? The Rainbow Six Siege Open beta actually closes on the November 29, and the game releases on the December 1. I kid you not. That gives them a single, solitary full business day between closing the beta and releasing the game to squeeze in any last minute changes.
At best? They can probably work in some infrastructure and matchmaking testing under more realistic load, and hopefully – if they’re using an appropriately scalable platform to host their server-side kit – ramp up the provision if they’re going to find it lacking.
And at worst? Given some of Ubisoft’s recent chequered history with buggy releases, to put it politely, there’s always the worry that the Rainbow Six Siege Open Beta running this close to release might be a sign of panic-stations.
At least with 14 operators, three maps and three game modes, there’s plenty to see and do for the next few days.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege hits the shelves on December 1. Pre-order it from Amazon now.