Big news from the world of Rainbow Six Siege, as veteran designer and current Creative Director Leroy Athanassoff has announced that he is stepping down from the role. Athanassoff’s departure comes as the popular team shooter prepares to embark on its seventh year of operation.
“I wanted to let you know that due to personal reasons, I will be leaving my role of Creative Director on Siege to pursue other opportunities at Ubisoft,” said Athanassoff in a statement. “This isn’t a decision I make lightly — I love this game and this community, and I’m so proud of everything our team has accomplished together over the last two years — but I’m confident that it’s the right one, and the team has given me their full support. Don’t worry, I won’t be going too far, and I have a feeling that my journey with this incredible game is far from over.”
“I want to thank Alex (Karpazis), the entire Siege team, and you — our amazing community — for an unforgettable experience. I can’t wait to see where Siege goes next!”
Athanassoff has worked on the Ubisoft multiplayer shooter since its rocky inception back in 2016. Starting out as a designer for the title, Athanassoff responsibilities within the Rainbow Six Siege universe grew alongside the title’s popularity. Athanassoff would become the Game Director for Siege in the summer of 2017, before eventually taking up the role of Creative Director in 2020, following the departure of team leads Xavier Marquis and Alexandre Remy.
Under Athanassoff’s directorial leadership, Rainbow Six Siege has grown from a relatively grey online shooter to an example of excellence in the genre. Athanassoff’s turn at the head of the table has seen Rainbow Six Siege reach beyond its “Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six” roots, with a heavier emphasis placed on appealing, charismatic, and engaging characters, as well as deep lore cinematics, a refocus on esports, and an increasingly inclusive and LGBTQ positive roster of operators.
In opening up Siege‘s world, lore, characters, weapons, and gameplay, Athanassoff has only served to broaden the horizons of what “Rainbow Six” can be, while simultaneously adding heart and character to its explosive and chaotic universe. Athanassoff’s contributions toward making Siege the spectacular title is it today — still enjoyed by millions of players — cannot be underestimated.
In Athanassoff’s stead, Ubisoft has appointed Alexander Karpazis as the title’s new creative director. A Ubisoft veteran since 2017, Karpazis has most recently worked as a designer and art director for Rainbow Six Siege, and is thus partly responsible for the game’s transition from grumpy dude-bros in dusty warehouses to a more colorful cast of characters within an overall more welcoming visual design. It will be interesting to see what Karpazis brings to the role as Siege enters the first season of Year 7.
Rainbow Six Siege Year 7 is expected to launch at some point in March 2022. The Six Invitational 2022 tournament is currently scheduled to take place between February 8-20, 2022.