Don’t Worry, Rainbow Six Siege Will Have Male Hostages Too

Ubisoft copped a fair bit of flak during this year’s E3, mainly due to the lack of playable female characters in its upcoming roster of games. For a while the focus lingered over Assassin’s Creed Unity before turning to Far Cry 4.

It was only a matter of time before people started to eye up some of Ubi’s other titles on show. Though Rainbow Six Siege avoided any major controversy, some wondered whether the female hostage shown during the stage demo would be a template for the rest of the game’s rescue missions.


Rock, Paper, Shotgun posed the question to technical artist, Oliver Couture, who said the following:

I know some people asked about the hostage in the demo. I mean, when we did that design we felt a lot of empathy with the hostage. We wanted people to want to protect her. If the hostage gets killed a team loses the game, so we wanted players to care about the hostage so that’s the design we chose. But we’re also gonna have male hostages. That’s part of the plan.

The representation of females has always been an in issue within the video game industry and one which has bubbled to the surface in recent years. Whatever your opinion on the matter, Rainbow Six Siege looks like an interesting departure from previous games in the series, focusing on fully destructible environments and enhanced next-gen AI.

It’s not the only FPS franchise to be shaking things up either. Earlier in the month we reported on all the major shooters releasing within the next year or so, many of which are alternating from their usual formulas.

Written by
Senior Editor bursting with lukewarm takes and useless gaming trivia. May as well surgically attach my DualShock at this point.


  1. I saw the trailer for this, looks very impressive. Nice to see they have considered the diversity of the npcs when making this, hopefully that’s something that will become the norm in future, and for multiplayer avatars as well.

    • be nice if they also had a bit of diversity in the PCs as well.

      i mean it’s great they’ve made it more realistic in that men can be hostages as well.

      but then it would have been nice if women weren’t restricted to the role of victim in this game.

      funny how they found the money for motion and voice capture for a woman, but only when she’s a frakking prize to be fought over.

      and their explanation for why they chose a female hostage for the demo is bloody infuriating.
      if they just said that that was the first mission or something, fine.
      but they just wanted people to want to protect the weak little women.

      and to think, people say ubisoft is sexist. >_>

      • I didn’t realise they were planning to only allow players to play as a male character, that’s disappointing.
        If they can manage fully destructible environments and amazing AI, you’d think they could handle allowing players to choose the gender of the character they use for a multiplayer game.

  2. i need this now.
    i loved rainbow six.
    nice change of pace from gun porn.
    terrorist hunt still there?

    • Terrorist hunt is awesome rainbow six was the game I got with my ps3 and I played it like all the time I hope they put it in the new game give it a face lift maybe would love to see that casino level in HD……..awww I am with you dude I need to play this right now!

  3. Fair enough having male hostages, it’s realistic. Female navy seals (or whatever they are) would be retarded though.

    Suppose AC is make believe, so they could have easily had a female assassin. Personally, I couldn’t give a toss what digital genitals the character I’m controlling has.

    • retarded?

      women can’t hold guns in their delicate little hands?
      women can’t be soldiers?

      tell me, what’s the weather like in the 19th century?

      • Yes, Women can be soldiers (kinda), but as with anything physical, the elite are always gonna be men. It’s human biology that’s ‘sexist’, erm… sweetheart :-p

      • I’m not sure what you mean by the “kinda”, since there are a small but growing number of countries where women are already allowed, will soon be allowed or are considering allowing women to fight in front line combat.

        In these cases, the bar doesn’t move in terms of training and being elligible for front line duty or even in the special forces, and yet there will still be plenty of women who are able to do the job and are already serving or will be serving in such a capacity once laws have been altered.

        As for the hostage thing, playing to stereotypes for a quick demo makes sense, but it dives feet first into the damsel in distress trope. It made for an effective trailer, but all this chap really needed to say was that there would be male hostages, maybe acknowledge that they slotted into a stereotype and move on.

        And finally, Assassin’s Creed. Female assassins are nothing new, whether it’s in real life, fiction or video games. From the French Revolution in which Unity is set, I suggest you look up Charlotte Corday, while for video games, you can stay a little closer to home and look up Assassin’s Creed: Liberation… you know, the Ubisoft game from two years ago which seemed to manage having a female assassin just fine.

      • How many women do you know who want to join the army and fight on the front line? I don’t know any. I’m not saying there aren’t women who want to become soldiers and fight the war against terror but it’s not a large percentage of the female population. The truth is, most women don’t want to join the army, they don’t want to hold guns or be fired at and shot by fanatics. It doesn’t make them weak. Not to me at least. Most women in this situation WOULD need to be rescued. As would the male hostages. And they would both be rescued by these same soldiers. I really don’t understand the sudden outrage about this subject lately. Women are more positively represented in games right now, than they ever have been. It’s the other minorities that I feel sorry for. What about the overtly gay soldier who wants to kill insurgents in this seasons haute couture? Why doesn’t he get a look in? What about the dwarf, the old age pensioner, the amputee…? I’m not sure how much fun it would be to scale a building as an assassin with one arm.

      • JR, you know women aren’t a minority, right? They make up approximately 50% of the world’s population.

      • Erm it doesnt take muscles to fire a gun, sweetheart.

      • Women aren’t a minority no, but the women who want to be portrayed as gun toting marines in videogames are. Personally I don’t give a damn about the gender of the character I’m playing. If the game is good and the plot is interesting, that’s all that matters.

      • If it doesn’t matter to you, then why demean the opinions and voices of those for whom it does matter with such nonsensically extreme comparisons?

        It doesn’t affect your ability to not care, but it does allow developers to see that this is something which a decent chunk of their audience wants, so that they can divert the small amount of resources to accomodate them in future.

      • No I don’t care if a character is male or female… or black or white or whatever. What I do care about is when people overreact and cry SEXISM/RACISM whenever there aren’t any female/ethnic playable characters in a video game. Now Ubisoft will have no choice but to add female playable characters or else be accused of being sexist monsters. The same monsters who gave Aveline and Adewele centre stage in AC Liberation/Freedom Cry. Still, I imagine these are the kind of people who would complain even if they did add female playable characters …because they are too sexualised. Where were all these outraged people when GTA V (probably the worst offender when it comes to stereotyping/degrading women) came out last year? Nothing but praise. 10/10. Double standards much.… if there’s such a large audience, stop complaining and fund your own game.

      • Is it such an overeaction though? People are discussing it, just like they do with all different types of media. Ubisoft aren’t being forced to do anything, they are free to ignore the points that have been raised if they wish to.

        Or if they feel empathy towards players who are dissapointed they may consider adding more diversity to future titles. You don’t care if these people are represented, but why resent them for caring enough to speak about it? How does it hurt you?

      • Wow, I haven’t commented on TSA in ages but I just had to now.
        There are very good reasons (Non-sexist reason too, whaaaat) why there are barely any women in the special forces and the military. It’s called sexual dimorphism.
        Simply put it, men are more more fit for combat duty SIMPLY because they are generally more physically fit and capable than women.
        Can women be physically fit for combat? Yeah, but not only are there much less of them but it is simply much harder for women to reach the same level as men… and yes firing a gun is all about muscles… try carrying 15kg of body armor and a bunch of firearms on you without muscles.
        Do I think women should be allowed to serve in whatever combat duty they desire? Yes, if they meet gender neutral standards (Don’t have lower standards for women applying to the army). But don’t be surprised if there are much less women in duty because the simple fact is your average man is more capable for combat duty than your average woman and that is not sexist in the slightest bit.
        I find it silly when developers try to force a women military character in the game, mainly because they do a shit job at it. I’d be fine if these women characters weren’t forced, but they always are and if Ubisoft decides to add playable women characters in this game chances are it’s gonna be this forced as fuck character (Storyline wise).
        I’m surprised this actually received criticism. It’s so fucking stupid, people need to chill out.

      • @JR – The fact that Ubisoft created Aveline and Adewale in the past for character-driven narratives is exactly why it is galling that they’ve simply decided that they don’t have the resources to create female character models and animations etc. when allowing for customising assassins, they don’t then cater to those that would like to play as women, if they were given the choice.

        Oh, and while GTA V did get a lot of 10s, there were also plenty of people talking about how it represents women in the game. I could point you to Gamespot or Kotaku or several other major websites where they discussed the potential for a female lead in GTA games and whether GTA V misses out for not having one.

    • Not sure why it’s such a problem. In the real world, laws are changing to allow female combatants and if they pass muster then all of the best to them. Same goes for special forces.

      Now… if we remove the real world (yay!) we can do anything we like in games. Surely, it’d be nice to show a bit of balance in games from time-to-time. I understand that this sort of game will be loaded heavily towards male players but a female ops is a solid idea.

    • Well correct me if I’m wrong here, I’m quite sure I’m correct, but it was only in January 2013 that the U.S. military opened the door to allow women to serve in the front line. As far as I know, though that law was passed they haven’t started allowing women to serve on front line yet, I think they have plans to implement it by 2016. Either way, around the world there are very very few armed forces that allow female front line combatants. I’m assuming this rainbow 6 game is based on the American military? If so it’s a realistic representation that they don’t have female soldiers. I agree with Hazel though that the line Ubi spouted about having a female hostage to make the player feel like they wanted to save them is very demeaning and a little misinformed.

      • I think people blow this out of proportions – regarding genders in video games. I believe it’s much more about catering to your demographic, that is a majority of males.
        I say that women can be used in the front lines, but I am cautious to allow to women to go into special ops training for one reason only – these missions are a lot of times behind enemy lines and getting captured is always a part of the ‘deck’. Men can get tortured when captured, but about women ? What do you think happens to them when they would get captured ? It’s shitty world.

      • There’s always sodomy.

  4. I don’t get the fuss over this. In previous R6’s there are female characters throughout the story, and in the MP of Vegas 1 and 2 you could customise your player however you wanted, including their gender.

    So I don’t get how from the 1 video we’ve seen of pre-alpha, people are up in arms over sexism in R6.

    • It’s all off the back of the comments relating to AC Unity and not having the resources to create female assassins, which is simply nonsensical.

      That there were so many customisation options in previous entries is great, but they should aim to keep the same level of customisation and same prevalence of female characters.

      • And who’s to say they aren’t?

        Everybody is quick to jump to conclusions these days, they are WAITING to be outraged. It was one demo, and as mentioned, you could customise the gender of the player character in previous Rainbow Six games. Have they OUTRIGHT said that you can only play as a male in this? Somebody correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m willing to wait on a source here. Cheers.

  5. Please, for the love of all things don’t get dragged into this faux equality arguing. Lots of people with straw man arguments using Occam’s Broom everywhere.

    But back on topic – I liked what I saw of Siege, but need to see more of it before I pre-order it.

  6. Ahh the biggest white lie in relationships, gender equality. Oh sorry, I meant “straight relationships, don’t want to be accused as being homophobic. Yikes, I should also add relationships between mixed races, oh crap; and mixed religions. Oh, and regardless of any legal age gap….and disabilities….criminal background too. Think I covered all bases :-/

    Or; it is just a bloody game!!!

  7. There had better be Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Transgender hostages. One ones from ethnic minorities. And disabled ones. etc etc.

    • No no no no no no. Can’t be having ethnic minorities as hostages. Because then if the player character happens to be white Ubisoft will be accused of another ‘mighty whitey’ (the most cringe worthy term I’ve ever heard and ever will hear) story again.

  8. Like others, I’m praying this has Terrorist Hunt mode too.

    As for the female hostage thing, like others have said, it’s only a frigging game. People are taking things too far. What next??? Are people going to start writing letters to the Nigerian Terrorists who kidnapped those poor 200+ girls, accusing them of being sexist and telling them to kidnap some boys too to even things out?

  9. I don’t get this, the R6 series has always had a mix of male and female characters, both as players and hostages and the new game is the same.

    Rant about AssCreed’s male-only characters if you like, but R6 has always been gender neutral as far as I’m aware.

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