Colour Blind Players Are Concerned About Rainbow Six Siege's New Operator Ability 

Olivier "Lion" Flament is a French service member who's special ability involves using a drone to survey hostile areas and detect movement. Unfortunately, the way this works involves a red aura around opponents that some players won't be able to see.

Part of Rainbow Six Siege's Operation Chimera update arriving March 6, Lion will be one of two new characters players can unlock. His EE-One-D drone can move around and tag everyone in the vicinity so that after a short countdown they will appear for a short while on the offensive team's screens as red outlines if they're moving. As one player brought up in the game's subreddit, however, this ability won't be much use to people with certain forms of colour blindness.

"The lack of a colourblind mode has been an issue completely ignored by Ubisoft since the beginning of the game, but it is going to really hit us colourblind folk hard after this update," said the player. "The game is still playable without red dot sights, but an entire ability based on a red outline? I don't even know if I will be able to play Lion because of it. Please Ubi, if you ever even consider allowing a colourblind mode, at least do it for Lion's ability."

A community representative for Ubisoft responded to the thread saying the would flag this particular issue and see where the team was on it. Meanwhile, Ubisoft said the following when contacted for comment by Kotaku:

"The development team is aware of this issue and actively pursuing it, there is no timeline we can commit to at this time, but we have hope for positive results in the future."

Addressing the needs of players with certain visual impairments has been an ongoing issue in games. The Witness included some puzzles which couldn't be completed by players with hearing impairments or colour blindness, for example.

Sometimes it can be as simple as having certain bits of highlight text bleed together, as with Borderlands 2's weapon descriptions which have certain parts of weapon descriptions in various colours ranging from red, green, and yellow to teal and purple. For someone with colorblindness, this text can become an unreadable mess.

It's also a problem that some developers are slowly becoming more sensitive to, however. The card game Uno is notoriously a colour-coordinated affair, but has been continually updating its design to solve that shortcoming. A Microsoft app from a couple years back called Colour Binoculars actually tried to colour correct images for those with colour blindness so the natural effects could still be conveyed.

EnChroma's glasses specially designed to address colour blindness are another example.

During a keynote address at DICE 2018 yesterday the head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, made an impassioned call for the industry to pursue greater inclusivity in gaming, part of which includes making games accessible for everyone. Destiny 2 had improved subtitling for deaf players compared to the first game for instance, although more progress could still be made.

Meanwhile, PUBG includes colorblind settings on PC but not on Xbox One at the moment.

Given Rainbow Six Siege's continually growing player base, especially around the release of new updates, it would be shame if some of them weren't able to take advantage of its newest operator because his ability were locked to an arbitrary visual cue. On the flip-side, it might also be what leads Ubisoft to finally implement colourblind settings across the rest of the game in general.


Comments

    Ok guys, door is clear, breach now!!
    *gun shots*
    Guys?......guys?!

    Meanwhile, deaf players continue to be discriminated against with the continued support of voice chat by heartless developers.

    2018 - the year we compete to see who can be the biggest victim.

      You have my vote!

        Unfortunately being a white middle class male means I'm not allowed to be a victim. Which in turn makes me a victim of discrimination but the irony is I can't be discriminated against because I'm a white middle class male which actually makes me a victim which is impossible because I am a..... etc etc

          Oh please, thats the oldest victim card plays in the book, the victim who pretends they aren't allowed to be a victim.

          The ironic thing is it seems to always get whipped out when no such victimisation is even taking place and always after dismissing somebody or something else.

          Don't worry mate, I recognise you as a victim.
          Be strong!!

      You’re kidding, right? The quote in this story seemed like a perfectly reasonable request.

      If you consider that colourblindness affects between 5-8% of men and ~0.4% of women (let’s for the sake of argument say 3% of R6S players), and there were nearly 63,000 people playing R6S an hour ago (according to Steam), then that’s over 2,500 people who played in the last hour that may have their experience limited by a visual impairment - one that is easily catered for. And this is but one small, incredibly specific instance of ways developers can make their games more accessible.

      I’d be happy to see 2018 be the year that gaming becomes more accessible, enjoyable and inclusive for everyone. And the only way this is going to happen is if gamers bring these issues to the attention of developers, because often they go overlooked because of a lack of awareness.

        Half kidding really. Yeah it would be great to add colourblind options to games but it is such a small part of the player base I wouldn't fault a company for focusing on other things instead. The author describing it as an "arbitrary visual cue" though makes me wonder if they are trying to downplay the visual effects and gameplay choices to make it seem like the company is just being lazy.

          I don't think they were using "arbitrary" to make the developers seem lazy. The choice of visual effect is "arbitrary" because it could serve the same function in any colour. There's no reason it has to be red (other than perhaps the visual code of 'red' meaning 'enemy').

      what do you mean 2018? That stuff has been going on for quite a while.

        New year, new competition! I'm in bronze league but if a few things don't go my way this year I might be able to bump up to silver or even gold.

    Just have a colour-blind filter like every other game. If Call of Duty can do it so can Siege.

    You know, if I hadn't seen this I would never have known Siege didn't already have a colour blind mode.

    To me it seems very much like a thing a lot of developers cater for as standard, so I'm surprised to find that Siege doesn't have it.

    Shitty or just straight up non existant hearing impared subtitles are a massive problem in videogames

    And yet GOD DAMNED HALF LIFE 2 COULD DO IT! And that game is older than a lot of gamers so there is NO EXCUSE for modern games not to have them

    And having a colour toggle for colourblind people is not that fucking hard, literally its just having the same texture or effect just with a different colour filter most of the time, ubisoft is just lazy

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