2020 has been one heck of a year. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has hit everyone hard. It’s been a year like no other for so many industries, and we’re still seeing the effects in games like Rainbow Six Siege. This year was the game’s fifth year, and came with a new Year Pass, which usually entitles all owners to about eight new Operators. However, 2020 was different. I think that it’s all to do with COVID-19 forcing staff to work from home. Whether it’s true or not, you can definitely see an impact of the pandemic on the last two expansions for the game. The most recent of these is Neon Dawn, due for release on December 3, 2020.
As you can see in the video above, just like Operation Shadow Legacy, Neon Dawn only adds one new Operator. I suspect that Ubisoft developers were at the point where they had three out of four expansions mostly complete. Being forced to work from home though, creating an extra one was just too much work. So instead, they reworked the last one, expanding it into two by including map reworks and tweaks for other Operators alongside the main new ones.
Until this year it was unprecedented for an expansion to only add one new Operator. That’s part of why I think that the pandemic is to blame for the last two of Year 5 only having one each. However, I also think that this has been a blessing in disguise.
Each Operator in these final two expansions for the year compliments each other. In Shadow Legacy we got a living legend. He packs a gadget that allows him to see through all sorts of surfaces, even around corners. Now in Neon Dawn we’re getting a Defender who can block that Attacker we got last expansion but is also a newcomer to the series. I think that the living legend that is Zero was meant to have nurtured Aruni, the new Operator in Neon Dawn.
Whatever the original plan looked like, I think that by splitting the Operators over two expansions we’ve gotten way more content than we would have otherwise. It might not feel like it with just one Operator per expansion, but it’s better than an expansion slipping out of the year entirely.