Over the last few years, microtransactions have made an increasingly large appearance in many games. It’s safe to say that the majority of gamers dislike the idea of additional payments on top of their game’s retail price, but they do serve some purpose.
With a rise of add-on payments becoming available in AAA titles, many people have been wondering about how payments may be included in the upcoming Assassin’s Creed Syndicate that is scheduled to have an initial release later this month for PS4 and Xbox One.
On Wednesday, Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Syndicate was confirmed to contain microtransactions. Ubisoft Quebec development director Francois Pelland told IGN that Syndicate will contain microtransactions, but all of the game’s content will still be available without paying any additional fees. Furthermore he went on to say that the game has been balanced so that the payments will be completely optional.
The add-on model is said to be similar to Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag‘s system of allowing players to reveal all treasure locations on the map, without having to search. This model is primarily aimed at players who want all available content but don’t have the time to explore the game’s huge open world.
The ability to pay for in-game bonuses is not exactly new for the Assassin’s Creed franchise, with previous games Unity, Black Flag, and Assassin’s Creed 3 all containing add-on payments to some degree. In the previous games, players could pay to unlock items earlier than their non-paying counterparts but Ubisoft continually stresses that the payments were not necessary and that every item can be unlocked through player progression.
Assassin’s Creed Unity also saw the addition of Boosts, which temporarily increase in-game abilities for a short period of time and could not be obtained outside of spending real money on Helix Credits. In Unity, players were given the option of spending up to $99.99 on Helix Credits in one purchase.
To some, microtransactions can be a way to quickly advance their progress in a game that they otherwise don’t have the time or patience to work at. Of course this is most common in games for portable devices such as phones, games but lately we’ve seen more and more console titles adopt a microtransaction store on the side. Most recently, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain had an add-on payment model centered around one of the game’s multiplayer modes: Forward Operating Base.
The game gave players the option to purchase Mother Base Coins in order to purchase multiple bases online, giving them an opportunity to generate more resources to assist them in the main campaign. While Mother Base Coins are available without purchase, they take a long time to generate, which has sparked a lot of complaints from fans who are less than eager to open their wallets.
While some players don’t mind paying a little extra for their games, many are against the idea of micro transactions – claiming that just the option to spend money is game-breaking. Add-on payments are a slippery slope and while allowing players to pay a few extra dollars for a shiny new weapon doesn’t seem like too bad of an idea, some game developers may be tempted to raise the price of the more desirable items to encourage money spending. There comes a point where a game becomes too pay-to-win and developers must be careful not to cross that line with consumers already dropping $60 or more on a game.
What are your thoughts on microtransactions in modern gaming? Leave us a comment and let us know.
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate will arrive for Xbox One and Playstation 4 on October 23 with a PC edition available November 19, 2015.