Rainbow Six: Patriots may not ever make it to launch, with Ubisoft confirming the next game in the franchise will release on next-generation hardware.
IGN asked Ubisoft senior vice president of sales and marketing Tony Key whether the next Rainbow Six game is coming to next-gen hardware, to which he answered in the affirmative. As the site noted, Key's comments did not make any mention of the subtitle "Patriots".
"We’re absolutely making another Rainbow Six. We’ve already said so. We just, as we enter this new generation, have to make sure we make the right game at the right time with the right feature sets," he said.
"And Rainbow Six got caught in the transition of going to next-gen and essentially we’re figuring out ‘well, are we making the right game for the right hardware systems?’ And you know, on Watch Dogs, the guys have been working on that game and it’s always been a next-generation game in their minds and the way they were designing it. And at the end of the day when the specs showed up for next generation, they had guessed right. That’s not always the case.”
Key's comments seem to suggest that whatever state Rainbow Six: Patriots was in when PlayStation 4 and Xbox One dev kits started making the rounds with developers, it wasn't a good fit for either current or next generation hardware.
“Sometimes you have to take a step back and go ‘you know, I’m seeing the possibilities, but it's gonna take more time,’” he said.
"We don’t really have anything else to announce or say about Rainbow Six, but we will say it’s a really exciting project for us and we can’t wait to say more."
Patriots has had a confusing history. It was announced in late 2011 for a 2013 release on current generation hardware, but after releasing one trailer a month later, it went dark. By the time we heard about it next, in March 2012, the core development team had been significantly shaken, and Ubisoft was at pains to deny reports of troubled development and serious changes to direction.
We didn't hear anything else except that it would "surprise" the industry, and then word in April that Ubisoft Toronto had ceased work on its portion of the project, which in hindsight seems a bit suspicious.
One thing we do know about the new and potentially shelved sequel is that unlike every game in the series to date Patriots kept cropping up with the numeral "6" in its title instead of the word. This makes it hard to regret its possible untimely demise, I must say.