Assassin's Creed Unity Has Microtransactions, But Ubisoft Says They Won't Compromise Gameplay

You can spend real-world money to unlock items normally gained through gameplay.

[UPDATE] Asked for clarification about microtransactions in Assassin's Creed Unity, a Ubisoft spokesperson told GameSpot, "We will have more information at a later date."

The original story is below.

Upcoming stealth-action game Assassin's Creed Unity will have a "fast track" microtransaction system that allows players to unlock gear by spending real-world money. This system, however, will not affect gameplay in a significant way, according to senior producer Vincent Pontbriand.

In an interview with OXM, he said that Assassin's Creed Unity's item unlocks are "pretty much" as far as micropayments will go in the game. Ubisoft has yet to formally reveal how the system works, and we have followed up with Ubisoft, asking for more details.

OXM reports that players can "hack" unlocks for gear items in Assassin's Creed Unity by spending real-world money instead of earning them through gameplay. Microtransactions are nothing new for the Assassin's Creed franchise, and have been in place since 2012's Assassin's Creed III.

While a microtransaction system may not suit every game, it does work for Assassin's Creed Unity because it does not fundamentally affect the overall experience, Pontbriand said. "If we think it fits the gameplay, or the brand itself, the core values, we're willing to take those risks. If not, then not," he said. "We're not going to make any compromises."

[For more on the increasingly common trend of letting gamers pay to skip the grind in games, check out GameSpot's editorial on the subject]

Assassin's Creed Unity launches October 28 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. Another Assassin's Creed title, Assassin's Creed Rogue, is coming to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 two weeks later on November 11.

We published new previews for both games this week:

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Discussion

130 comments
Creed02
Creed02

what is microtransaction ?

Shielder7
Shielder7

speed up gameplay.... more like cut up and sell you gameplay piece by piece

oldtobie
oldtobie

I don't get why you'd want to remove gameplay value and lose money doing it.

hockeybub89
hockeybub89

Umm.... Black Flag had a crapton of these shortcut packs and everyone praised it as one of the best ACs. They were entirely unobtrusive. Apparently you guys are as bad as you claim the industry is: rehashing the same old thing over and over with no improvements or effort.

MondasM
MondasM

ac: black flag had also microtransactions, if you didn't feel like exploring you could upgrade your tech, buy resources, it is purely preferential, it does not diminish gameplay... :)

callsignalpha
callsignalpha

I am pretty sure by 2020,they will be asking you for  mandatory credit-card information. 

terrariafan247
terrariafan247

All these micro transactions, day-one DLC, and unoriginality make me glad I'm keeping my PS3. Hell, at the moment I'd rather buy a PS2 or GameCube rather than a PS4 considering what the industry is turning into.

AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

Allowing players to subvert the experience to unlock things isn't exactly a vote of confidence in the content. The trouble is AC seems to tie its economy to filler side activities that become stale quickly (ie hunting animals in AC3).


I'm fairly sure this kind of thing is an afterthought right now , but eventually once it becomes the norm it begins to seep into the design process. Essentially we are getting FTP mechanisms weaving their way into games you have already bought. This is all part of games becoming a service rather than a product.


But in this case the service is simply a way of nickel and diming customers who have already dropped a good deal of money on the game.

Bowinkle08
Bowinkle08

unbeknownst to them. microtransactions always compromise gameplay

biggest_loser
biggest_loser

Up till this point everything I've heard about this game has seemed like a step in the right direction. 

isshiah
isshiah

It's like paying to hear someone tell you the ending of the book or film you're currently looking at. 


It doesn't affect me in the least, but I suppose time poor gamers will use it, against their better judgement. 

berserklover
berserklover

People really bitch about anything. What does it matter, it's only if you don't want to spend an extra 10 or 20 hours getting the stuff. They had them in AC4 and I didn't get them but I'm sure people did. The package I did get was for online, you get all the moves and weapon unlocked right away without playing 40 + hours. To each their own, if you are too broke or don't care to get it, then don't. No one forces you with micro transaction. In AC4 the extra stuff you got online was more about trophy than actual gameplay change.

Martyr77
Martyr77

I refuse to buy it then. I hate Ubisoft and their need to add microtransaction garbage to everything.

eternaldragoonx
eternaldragoonx

Guess Black Flag is the last AC game I will ever play.

Dem0nGam3r
Dem0nGam3r

I keep seeing people defend microtransactions, in AAA full-retail priced game no less, because they think that as long as it isn't necessary to pay to complete the game, or that the game isn't built around the payments, that it's a good option for certain people. Why not, right?


Ok, I mean I can kind of understand that view, but in my opinion, the very presence of MT's takes me straight out of the experience. A good example is Dead Space 3, which allowed you to buy in-game crafting materials with real money. Now, I'll admit there was never an even remote need for extra materials (they seemed overly abundant in my playthrough), and I'm glad for that; However, every time I went to check my weapons/RIG or craft an item/upgrade, I was constantly aware that you can use real money to buy in-game items. Even if someone wants to pay for those materials, if it's important to their game experience and they're entitled to have the option to pay for them, am I not equally entitled to the exclusion of the MT's if it ruins my immersion and experience with the game? DLC I mostly don't like nowadays, but at least it's usually not something you can buy in-game with real money at a freaking vending machine. MT's are idiotic.


Does that not tear down the immersion, even a little bit for anyone else? And not to mention, if they think gamers are acceptant enough of MT's, I wouldn't be surprised if in the future they'd build entire retail-priced games around them (if they haven't already in this one, who knows yet), just like the inferior, disgusting mobile/"f2p" market. Except in this case, we're taking about FULL-PRICED RETAIL GAMES.

Also, I really don't sympathize with the targeted group of apparently too-lazy-to-actually-play-the-game people. WHAT IS THE POINT? Why are you playing the game in the first place if you aren't invested enough to actually earn things by playing? Who the flying ass wanted to pay for gold/items/advancement in Skyrim? Literally no one, and if anyone did, screw them. What about GTAV? Oh wait, bad example. Anyway, I digress. The only reason you have microtransactions in a game is to build the game around them to force people to shill out undeserved money because you designed it to be unplayable or frustrating otherwise. And if it isn't built like that, and can be played just fine without them, THEN IT IS NOT NEEDED IN THE FIRST PLACE!


But to summarize, just the damage to immersion alone is reason to exclude MT's, for sure ones that can be performed in-game; at least have the decency of putting them on the main menu or something, if at all (preferably remove them entirely, you greedy fucks).


If you're going to have a lemonade stand, sell lemonade; Don't stand there asking me if I want to complement my lemonade with an extra spoonfull of sugar or a bendy straw.

Kiyosuyo
Kiyosuyo

Why can't companies figure out that this is just pure greed? Nobody wants this garbage. Stop trying to nickel and dime gamers to make money and concentrate on making better games.

Brazucass
Brazucass

Brotherhood story was the best! 

51gamer
51gamer

Even EA stopped doing this sh*t... Ubisoft next most hated gaming company? They're well on their way if they aren't there already.

metallinatus
metallinatus

What microtransactions does AC III have?

DLCs doesn't count....

xantufrog
xantufrog

Oh brother. I wish people wouldn't buy it so they would learn. But people will buy it. In droves (even if smaller figures than prior installments)

Piris
Piris

how bout masstransactions. they can make more money that way

ijackoffpaper1
ijackoffpaper1

I have a feeling many people are no longer getting this game.

grenadehh
grenadehh

Please stop putting multiplayer achievements in this game. I'm fine with it having multiplayer, but quit. And also microtransactions, for real?

FLEEBS
FLEEBS

Oh, how I hate the current monitization trends in gaming...

Garm31
Garm31

I'm buying Alien Isolation, GTA V and The Evil Within. Every other game is a yearly rehash and they can rot on the shelves.

SpookyJack
SpookyJack

Do you want me to boycott your software? Because that's how you make me boycott your software.

Garm31
Garm31

Microtransactions? More nails in this series coffin. How many is that now?

danyjr
danyjr

This is getting ridiculous. £40 for the base game, add an extra £10 for special edition, another £15 for season pass and then add micro-transactions above to it all?

xADx
xADx

This isn't really news. You could spend the $2 for unlock Jackdaw's elite upgrades, etc in AC4.  Or just play the game and its free.

ramonno
ramonno

@oldtobie Because some gamers are like junkies, they mindlessly spend money in whatever the AAA industry throws at them, as long as they get their fix it doesn't matter what it is.

hystavito
hystavito

@AyatollaofRnR  It might already be seeping into the design process :(.  I just had this idea in my head, totally stupid and not realistic but anyway...


An organization (prob best if non-profit but not required) made up of a diverse variety of gamers (diff ages, marital status, children or not, lifestyles, jobs, etc. you get the idea) that play games after they are basically finished (but before release) and make recommendations for what things in the game should be made into shortcuts you can buy.  They have no motivation for choosing the shortcuts other than what they feel is fair and best for the players.  They debate internally and come up with a list for the game company.  Then, if the game chooses to follow those recommendations, as in only puts the recommended shortcut purchases (or a subset) into the game and none other, they get to mark their game with the organizations seal of approval.  This game certified by name-of-organization-we-come-to-trust to have fair and not total ripoff underhanded microtransactions :).


Again, just a stupid thought, note to predators, I realize this is not realistic at all :).

terrariafan247
terrariafan247

@berserklover It doesn't force you to buy the DLC no but most of the time the developers make the game really grindy and repetitive to coerce you into buying the DLC. But hell, if you're willing to pay Ubisoft to play the game for you then go ahead.

TwinStripeUK
TwinStripeUK

@Dem0nGam3r And what if you want a bendy straw? What you fail to realize is that most gamers are entitled, impatient little f*ckers - they want stuff, and they want it RIGHT NOW. So if they want to pay to shave an hour or two off their gaming experience, so what? Let 'em. As long as they keep MTs on the menu screen, and they don't offer unfair advantage (such as pay-to-win kit for multiplayer games) then where's the harm? It's not my money, so I don't care. Maybe not the best attitude, but it's the only one to meet it with without getting annoyed by it all.


Meanwhile, people like me will just grind through, collect away and get there a little while later.


It's pointless getting annoyed with microtransactions, because they're here to stay. Period. The industry tried to sell games cheaply and we just pirated their games because we were too cheap to stump up even that. They then made them more expensive, to remove the incentive for individuals to buy games, copy them and pass them on, but we just copied them anyway and then sold games back to retailers(which means the developers/publishers lost out twice, once for the copied game and once for the now pre-owned copy which they saw no revenue from).


So then they tried to go for digital distribution, but the entitled masses all screamed 'NO - DRM is evil and it robs us of our God given right to get something for free that shouldn't belong to us', and the industry backed off.

We have no-one to blame, but ourselves.


So what's left? Microtransactions and DLC. It's the only methods that these companies have to make any money so that they can stay in business. The games themselves are loss-leaders. Don't believe me? Destiny supposedly cost $500 million to develop and market, so in order to break even that means it has to sell around 20 MILLION copies (because distribution and retail take a MASSIVE slice of the retail cost for themselves).

And that's just to break even - that doesn't pay for any of the running costs up until that point, and certainly doesn't pay for future development.

And if you don't think it's hard for these guys to make a buck, look at how many have gone to the wall, been bought out  or had massive layoffs in the past two years,


Microtransactions and DLC however, have little to no distribution cost, and little to no retail cost either (as the providers get a tiny amount in comparison to the physical sales)


I'd love all games to be free. I'd love a world where microtransactions didn't exist and companies said 'Actually, we've just thought of something cool we can add to the game - here, have it for free'... but I'm a realist, and I don't live in a dream world...

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@51gamer With EA Access and Sims 4 and Bioware's sham multiplayer game, EA won't be toppled soon.

flaw600
flaw600

@xantufrog But its ok in this case b/c all those do for Unity is unlock items you'd already get through normal gameplay. You're not getting anything extra, so I don't have a problem

unreal849
unreal849

@xantufrog  Even if people don't buy it, Ubi won't learn their lesson. They'll pull a Sqeenix and blame everything but the actual cause of the problem.

FLEEBS
FLEEBS

@Garm31 And GTA V isn't a rehash? Maybe the series isn't a yearly rehash, but it's still rehash, not to mention the fact that GTA V version coming out for current gen is a rehash of a game that came out last year.

Garm31
Garm31

@SpookyJack 

Aren't we already boycotting it?  Preorders are at their lowest right in the industry. Folks are getting sick of playing the same reskinned games every year. It only took around 8 annual releases for it to happen.