That Assassin's Creed III would use microtransactions isn't particularly surprising news. WorthPlaying -- who broke today's story -- remind us that, during an investor conference call last month, Ubisoft chief financial officer Alain Martinez said, "In the future ... we could see more opportunity for $60 games to learn from the free-to-play model. The next generation will offer more and more item-based content."
"This will benefit our games' profitability," he continued.
So, yeah, Assassin's Creed III is offering up "Erudito Credit" packs ranging from 20 credits for $1.00 to 925 for $20.00.
The wrinkle, though, is that the description indicates that Erudito credits will allow players "to acquire some game items, disregarding your current level." For a game touting its competitive multiplayer, this is a red flag: no one wants to be hustled by someone with deeper pockets.
RockPaperShotgun weasled a statement out of Ubisoft on the matter: "The Eruditro Credits are a new way of unlocking content in ACIIIi Multiplayer. People who have little time can use Erudito Credits as a shortcut to unlock game items from level 1 to 50 (excluding Presitge levels and relics rewards). This is not mandatory, all items sold in Erudito Credits are also available in Abstergo Credits and can be unlocked through normal progression like previous years."
Without having played the game, it's hard to speculate on Erudito items' impact on Assassin's Creed III, but, in the interest of the game’s balance and fairness, I have to assume that these items are mostly ornamental or aesthetic. Perhaps you can buy Ratonhnhaké:ton (that's pronounced reggeaton, right?) a raccoon-tail hat.
In any case, players will find out soon enough: Assassin's Creed comes out today.