Rainbow Six: Patriots, the controversial, long-delayed anti-terrorism shooter, is officially, and permanently dead, Ubisoft confirmed this week.
"It's not in development anymore," said Alexandre Remy, Rainbow Six brand director. "The main decision was some months after Patriots was announced in 2011 that was the first moment we knew the first generation of new consoles were coming. So obviously at that moment and for a franchise such as Rainbow we needed to decide if we could make something for next-gen and we were already pretty advanced in the development of Patriots.
"It would require doing a lot of extra things."
He added that the decision to kill the game was not driven by the controversial nature of the title. It was more about what they wanted to do with the franchise, he said.
"It was a strategic decision to make that happen," he said. "It's hard to imagine a Rainbow Six game that doesn't use the latest technology. We had to decide do we keep working on something that might be a bit late in the cycle or do we actually take that opportunity of next-gen?"
Patriots first came to light in 2011 when a video showing off the game's preliminary target gameplay footage was leaked to Kotaku. The early, internal video showed off a game that hoped to push the envelope on morality.
In the game, international counter-terrorism unit, codenamed Rainbow, is called in to New York to capture or kill a home-grown terrorist group called the "True Patriots." The group is attacking the city on behalf of the victims of economic inequality.
But after a confirmation and splashy reveal, the game disappeared. In November, 2012, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot told Polygon that the game was still in development and might be headed for a next-gen release.
"The only thing I can say is that we have a good team working on it, and it's really looking good," Ubisoft chairman and CEO Yves Guillemot told Polygon at the time. "So when it will come, it will surprise the industry."
Then about six months later, a Ubisoft executive told IGN that the game was headed to next-gen platforms. Six months after that, the president of Ubisoft North America said the game wasn't working and that it needed to be remade, adding, "If it doesn't work, we're not going to bring it to you."
After the decision was made to kill Patriots, Ubisoft decided to start another Rainbow Six game with a fresh, core team of 40 people, said Remy.
The new game has been in development for 18 months, he said.
"It's safe to say," Remy said, "that it's always better to start fresh."