Ubisoft’s first major release of the year, Rainbow Six Extraction, is launching on Xbox Game Pass, Microsoft announced in a blog post today. It’ll be available starting January 20, and will no doubt send a drove of players to the multiplayer cooperative shooter.
Rainbow Six Extraction, first revealed as Rainbow Six Quarantine at Ubisoft’s E3 press conference in 2019, officially had its title changed last June because, well…y’know. Initially slated for a September 2021 release, Ubisoft delayed the game to 2022 in part because, well…y’know.
In a departure from previous Rainbow Six fare, which has typically been grounded in reality, or at least realism, Rainbow Six Extraction casts players against extraterrestrial foes. Squads of three players team up to shoot waves of enemies, indicative of the current Left 4 Dead renaissance — a Left 4 Deadaissance, if you will — that’s sweeping through the games industry. The trend has helped build out the library of Microsoft’s games-on-demand library, spurred by games like Back 4 Blood (currently on Xbox Game Pass), Aliens: Fireteam Elite (currently on Game Pass), The Anacrusis (hitting Game Pass later this month), and next summer’s Redfall (which will launch day and date on Game Pass).
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Launching multiplayer games on Xbox Game Pass has proven a smart move in the past. Last year, Outriders, a three-player cooperative shooter developed by People Can Fly, launched day one on Xbox Game Pass. Within two weeks, it became the second-most-popular game on the service. Thanks in no small part to the buzz, Outriders ultimately topped 3.5 million players across all platforms during its first month. Square Enix’s president noted that, despite launching on a subscription service, digital sales for the game were comparatively high. It’s not hard to imagine a similar surge of players for Rainbow Six Extraction later this month.
Prior to an official announcement, Microsoft teased today’s news via its terminally cheeky Xbox Game Pass Twitter account:
Oh hi to you as well, @Ubisoft. well this was a good interaction, nothing more to extract from it… bye!
— Xbox Game Pass (@XboxGamePass) January 5, 2022
That’s not the only announcement from Ubisoft and Microsoft today. Starting January 20, Rainbow Six Extraction’s immediate predecessor, Rainbow Six Siege, will be available on Xbox Game Pass, but only to those who subscribe to the PC or slightly pricier Ultimate tiers.
What’s more, Ubisoft+, a games-on-demand service that offers access to new and marquee Ubisoft games, is coming to Xbox at some point “in the future.” (To date, it’s a PC-only service.) In a tweet, Ubisoft said the service will initially be available piecemeal, not bundled with any Game Pass subscriptions, but said that “more news” is en route.
Representatives for Ubisoft did not immediately respond to a request for clarification from Kotaku.
Last year, Microsoft added EA Play, a games-on-demand service that offers access to new and marquee EA games, to Game Pass, but did not fold its availability into the base subscription tier.
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