Update: Ubisoft announced on Reddit that it will be backing away from the proposed price hikes. Full statement here.
It might be weird to say this about a two year old game, but Ubisoft appears to be striking while the iron is hot for its tactical military shooter, Rainbow Six Siege. The company announced that outside of its PC-only starter edition, prices for all other Rainbow Six Siege editions will be raised by $20.
Currently, there are a couple avenues in which players can purchase and play Rainbow Six Siege. There's the $15 Starter Edition which includes the full game but places players on an "extended" track for unlocking new playable characters, or "Operators." Basically, the time and in-game currency it takes to unlock an Operator for Starter Edition players is longer and more expensive.
That's why most players opted for the $40 Standard Edition which includes the full game and the standard track towards unlocking content. For completionists there was also the $70 Gold Edition and $110 Complete Edition which included season passes and unlocked Operators.
After February 13, things will change.
In February, the Standard Edition will be replaced by a $60 Advanced Edition which includes 10 Outbreak Collection Packs. Prices for the Gold and Complete Edition have also been raised to $90 and $130 respectively.
If you're asking what the Outbreak Collection Packs are that are now included in the Advanced Edition, those are cosmetic-only loot crates that will be introduced in the limited Outbreak (read: Zombie) mode coming to Siege in Year 3. Ubisoft is promising 50 unique items and zero duplicates, meaning if you purchase 50 Outbreak Packs, you're guaranteed to get all the available cosmetics.
Nobody really wants a game to increase in price over time, which is why the news hasn't really sat well with the Rainbow Six community. And there are a lot of reasons at play here.
For some, this is probably the best time to get into Rainbow Six Siege. The game is balanced, the new content is great, and player interest has never been higher. So the fact that Ubisoft is taking this opportunity to raise the entry fee now is being interpreted with cynicism.
Likewise, for existing players who are upset at the change, I've read comments from players who say that it'll be hard for them to convince friends to join because of the price after the new pricing system. Some other longtime players also feel cheated because they bought in with the Standard Edition only to learn that since the Advanced Edition is a replacement rather than an upgrade, they will not receive the 10 Loot Pack perk that comes with the new Advanced Edition of the game.
The Advanced Edition is not currently available for sale. The Standard Edition is not "becoming" the Advanced Edition. The Standard Edition is simply being removed from the store.— Rainbow Six Siege (@Rainbow6Game) January 25, 2018
Ubisoft's approach to selling Rainbow Six Siege at different price points has always been a little confusing. And while it's true that Rainbow Six Siege is probably the best it has ever been right now, the soon-to-be former Standard Edition always felt like a fair entry point considering the amount of content players had to unlock if they chose not to purchase anything.
The Standard Edition is still available for $40 and will be until February 13, so that's probably a good place to jump on the game if you're so inclined.