We continue to learn more about the upcoming Operation Blood Orchid update for Rainbow Six Siege, but it turns out that it won't be available to everyone as soon as expected. The previously announced August 29 release date has now been revealed as the start date for its launch on PC's Technical Test Server.
The news was shared in a press release today announcing a free weekend event that's coming up (more details on that below). PC players will be able to check out the new Blood Orchid content on the TTS starting on August 29. Ubisoft says it's "targeting" September 5 as a full release for all platforms, suggesting that date is not yet set in stone.
Although it's become tremendously popular, Rainbow Six Siege has dealt with some significant technical issues in the past. That prompted the cancellation of an expansion in favor of Operation Health, which saw Ubisoft focus on addressing various issues. With that deemed a success, Ubisoft likely doesn't want the first post-Health expansion to suffer from problems at launch, though it is still disappointing to learn that we'll have to wait longer than we thought.
Blood Orchid includes a new map for all players called Theme Park. It also introduces three new Operators, two of which have been teased so far: Lesion and Ying. Ubisoft plans to fully reveal Blood Orchid during a livestream at the Rainbow Six Pro League Finals. The stream is scheduled for August 26 at 9:15 AM PT / 12:15 PM ET / 5:15 PM BST on Twitch. The Finals themselves will be broadcast over that weekend, August 25-26, as part of Gamescom.
Coinciding with the Finals, PS4, Xbox One, and PC owners will be able to play Siege in its entirety for free. A free weekend event will take place from August 24-27, and from August 24-September 4, you'll be able to purchase Siege for 50% off. Any progress made in the free weekend will carry over if you decide to buy Siege.