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Blood Money: Assassin's Creed III's Microtransactions

Hm. Here's something that's leaped out of nowhere, descended upon us in a flash of bloodlust, and knocked us flat in much the same fashion as an enraged koala or, more pertinently, an assassin. Assassin's Creed III is not by any means a F2P game, but it'll still have a (seemingly entirely optional) pay structure just like one. Granted, that in itself isn't really a problem. It's this bit, however, that has me worried: "disregarding your current level." To which I reply: but, but, but, but, but competitive multiplayer.

Worthplaying discovered AC III's downloadable currency packs by way of recent Xbox Live and PlayStation Network updates. Named "Erudito Credits," they come in five different price tiers: 20 for $1, 50 for $2, 155 for $5, 380 for $10, and 925 for $20. Seeing as AC III single-player peddles its wares in exchange for virtual British pounds, Erudito Credits seem to be multiplayer specific. And yes, their product description reads, "Buying this pack will grant you Erudito Credits in-game, allowing you to acquire some game items, disregarding your current level."

It's the eve of AC III's eagle-dive onto consoleboxes, but Ubisoft has yet to comment on the newly unearthed feature. Obviously, though, we'll understand it in full very, very soon - with or without Ubisoft's assistance. Update: Ubisoft's issued a statement. Here it is: "The Erudito Credits are a new way of unlocking content in ACIII Multiplayer. People who have little time can use Erudito Credits as a shortcut to unlock game items from level 1 to 50 (excluding Prestige 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."

In the meantime, though, it bears noting that this is hardly the first time a full-price game has implemented a system like this. Mass Effect 3 also minted its own brand of space doubloon that could be earned or purchased. But BioWare's space opera/Mordin musical used multiplayer to bring people together - not silently slice them apart. If people can actually buy their way to the top in one of AC III's many competitive modes, that'd get a wicked stylish double assassination on both balance and fun. Here's hoping that's really, really, really not the case, but I'm not sure else how else to read between the lines of "disregarding your current level."

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