Rainbow Six Siege has finally got a new map in Emerald Plains. However, the first release in three years wasn’t always going to be new — instead Ubisoft had a Bartlett University rework in mind when they designed the Northern Ireland map.
Bartlett University is one of Rainbow Six Siege’s most notorious maps. One of the original battlegrounds, it was relegated to Terrorist Hunt and not much else for years. It’s big and expansive, but the clunky layout saw it disappear rather quickly.
With that being said, it’s still a cult classic in the game and one fans have wanted a reimagination of for years.
When Emerald Plains launched as part of Operation Demon Veil, many Siege fans said they got a similar vibe from the Northern Ireland country club that they did at the faux American university. Ubisoft says that’s intentional.
“The comparisons to Bartlett make sense – Emerald Plains did begin its life as a Bartlett rework,” developers said during an April 29 Reddit AMA.
“As we proceeded to change more and more of the map during the reworking phase, we quickly found that it was becoming its own map and didn’t fit our definition of a rework, so we decided to shift gears and lean into the newness, theme and all.”
Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest updates on Esports, Gaming and more.
This included a re-do of the architecture to fit the recently-released Thorn. There wasn’t a way to work this season’s Operator, Aruni, into the theme, but the grandiose halls could be replicated in a more European style.
“For this, we wanted to use the same type of architecture that fit with Bartlett and found it wouldn’t have fit with Japan. But, considering the recent release of Thorn, we did want to send some love her way and tie into her locale,” they added.
“While there are hints and nods to its old self like the foyer and two front towers, its moment-to-moment gameplay flow is entirely different from its humble beginnings as a Bartlett rework.”
So, beyond this, will Bartlett ever get its long overdue rework in Siege? Ubisoft said nothing is off the table — but don’t expect it any time soon as they work on two more new maps across Year 7 and other reworks to more pressing battlegrounds.