Assassin’s Creed: Mirage's age rating is leading to some speculation on forum ResetEra that it could feature gambling for real-world money, following the game's reveal during the Ubisoft Forward event. An ESRB 18+ rating that lists "real gambling" appears to be in effect for the upcoming back-to-basics Assassin’s Creed set in 9th century Baghdad. If you missed the first look at Mirage over the weekend then you can watch the cinematic trailer below.
ResetEra user Modiz kicked off the debate by posting a link to the US Xbox store page for Mirage. This listing, which you can see for yourself here, says the game will feature “Intense Violence, Blood and Gore, Sexual Themes, Partial Nudity, Real Gambling”. Others chimed in to add that they’d spotted the 18+ rating flash up before Mirage was shown during Saturday’s Ubisoft Forward stream too, which Modiz confirmed.
Very few games receive an Adults-Only rating from the ESRB. You can see a comprehensive list of exactly what has to-date here. Hardly any have been given out for gambling, with most being for sex and violence. The ESRB’s content descriptor for real gambling says that a “Player can gamble, including betting or wagering real cash or currency”, differing from the simulated gambling category. While Assassin’s Creed has a history of minigames that aren’t for real money such as Valhalla’s Orlog and Assassin’s Creed 3’s fanorona, there’s never been anything that’d risk emptying your pockets in real-life before.
I’m highly skeptical that Mirage would actually include gambling that might involve genuine money somehow. Ubisoft are surely aware of the existing outcry surrounding loot boxes, including attempts to legislate in the US, the threat to do so in the UK, and bans in countries such as Belgium. It would be very strange for Ubisoft to start testing the waters with a big name franchise in case of an equally big backlash. The US Assassin’s Creed Instagram page has uploaded a version of the trailer showing an ESRB Rating Pending logo since the Ubisoft Forward stream though, so it’s entirely possible the Adults-Only rating is a mistake.
Alice Bee took a look at what we know so far about Assassin’s Creed: Mirage, which looks as though it’ll be what some of us remember the series’ 2007 originator to be. This one’s got The Expanse’s excellent Shohreh Aghdashloo on board though, so that’s one extra reason to take note of it. Mirage was first rumoured earlier this year, back when it went by the name of Rift. Those rumours raised their heads again at the end of August, now going by Mirage. It took an artwork leak to get Ubisoft to acknowledge Mirage’s existence a few days later.
Assassin’s Creed: Mirage should jump onto PC in 2023 from whatever rooftop it’s loitering on. I’ve reached out to Ubisoft to ask them about Mirage’s rating.
Update (September 12th, 2022): Ubisoft have released a statement about Assassin's Creed: Mirage's rating:
Following the announcement of Assassin's Creed Mirage during Ubisoft Forward, some store pages mistakenly displayed the game for preorders with an Adults Only ESRB rating. While Assassin's Creed Mirage is still pending rating, Ubisoft wants to reassure players that no real gambling or lootboxes are present in the game.