Rainbow 6: Patriots has had a tumultuous 2013, buried in rumors concerning the game's delay and cancellation altogether. Ubisoft's North American president Laurent Detoc talked to IGN (via VG24/7) about the game's progress and the uncertainty of its future.
Detoc admitted that the reason behind his company's silence in light of cancellation rumors was because the developer itself was uncertain of the game's future. Detoc said the game "wasn't working" and had to be remade entirely.
“We had a core team. They had a good vision. They got started, and then the game wasn’t working,” he said. “So [they had] to start again. There’s an editorial group in Ubisoft, a big group, very influential. If the game is not good enough, they say it’s not good enough. Most of the time, the team will say, ‘yeah, I know.’ But sometimes they want to continue in a direction where you say, ‘no, it’s not going to work.’"
Detoc said that the game will now have the opportunity to benefit from the emergence of next-generation consoles, a switch that was revealed initially at this year's E3 by Ubisoft's VP of sales Tony Key. He added, however, that the finished product might be under a new name and premise. The cancellation rumors from earlier this year were, under this logic, essentially correct in that the game is unlikely to resemble its original form.
“Could it be a shooter with another name in the end, because the team doesn’t want to do counter-terrorist guys? Say they want to be in a mercenary setting? That’s possible,” he said.
These remarks aren't what we commonly hear from developers facing unmet expectations. In an industry frequently facing criticism for releasing incomplete products, some might find Ubisoft's handling of Rainbow 6: Patriots admirable.