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Rainbow Six Siege just hit an all-time high player count

Community supports anti-harassment efforts on PC as well

An orange-suited military figure stands inside the plume of a smoke grenade.
Key art featuring season three’s French operator, Lion.
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Yesterday Ubisoft launched the third season of content for Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege and it’s already already paying dividends. The game’s three-year pass is coming in at number two on the Steam top-sellers list and, according to SteamCharts, player counts are at an all-time high. It’s a remarkable surge for a game first released to middling reviews in 2015.

SteamCharts recorded a high of more than 176,000 players. That’s up from just over 47,000 players one year ago.

The first batch of content for season three revolves around Operation Chimera, a Team Rainbow mission to contain a parasitic infection in a remote town in New Mexico. It includes two new playable characters, Frenchman Lion and Russian Finka, who are both veterans of anti-biological operations in the past. Both are playable in co-operative and competitive game modes.

This season also includes a new co-op mode called Outbreak. It’s a story-driven set of missions, and pits up to three players against a zombie horde in tense close-quarters battles.

The new season includes new equipment and skins, as well as a host of balancing tweaks and bug fixes.

Ubisoft is also enjoying a lot of goodwill from its community with the announcement that it will be handing out permanent bans for players who use hate speech on PC. With a long-term focus on gameplay and quality-of-life improvements, Siege has been able to double its peak and average users on Steam.

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