Despite Rainbow Six Siege having a truly staggering number of playable characters, developer Ubisoft Montreal isn’t slowing down on adding new operators to the game anytime soon. In case you haven’t counted recently, Siege has 64 playable operators as of Year 7, Season 2: Vector Glare.
“We haven’t even scratched the tip of the iceberg,” creative director Alexander Karpazis told GameSpot. “The team has so many ideas to release more characters and we’ve become really, really good at balancing this ecosystem of gameplay and gadgetry so that no matter which way you slice it whoever you’re playing as in a five-person team can be really important while always having a counter.”
“If we look at the ideas that we have had with Sens and Azami previously, it goes to show that there’s a lot of untapped potential that is still out there,” game designer Mathieu Lacombe added. “So it’s really great news for us. We are still doing some creative operators that are interesting, that are innovative.”
Lacombe said that the team is able to create so many new operators so quickly because they can make operators that solve the same problem just in different ways. He pointed out how, for example, Wamai and Jäger fulfill the same role as defenders. Both operators have gadgets that can intercept projectiles, but Wamai’s Mag-NET redirects them while Jäger’s ADS-MKIV shoots them out of the air.
“It creates new gameplay designs, new opportunities,” Lacombe said. “So we have a lot of space to create new operators. I don’t feel like we’re slowing down.”
Hearing as much from Karpazis and Lacombe surprised me, given the potential hurdle it supposedly must be to balance a roster as expansive as the one in Siege. I only need to point to Apex Legends senior character designer Devan McGuire’s comments about how Respawn is aware of the potential issues of “legend saturation” and how the team may slow down the release of new characters in future seasons. And that game only has 21 playable characters as of Season 13–that’s a third of Siege’s roster.
“On the balancing side, I think we’re still super comfortable,” Karpazis said. “We haven’t hit a roadblock and, like I said, the ideas are still coming. But it really is up to what the community wants. Do they want to see more characters in the game or do they want to see something else? We’ll always tailor what we deliver every single season to what we see our playerbase asking of us.”
Rainbow Six Siege Y7S2 kicks off this month, adding new operator Sens, a new Team Deathmatch map, a shooting range (finally), and a new battle pass.