Assassin’s Creed III will feature an in-game microtransaction currency, according to an update on the PlayStation Blog.
Called Erudito Packs, these in-game currency bundles will allow users to “acquire some game items, disregarding [the player's] current level,” according to information from Worth Playing, and are being sold anywhere from 20 Erudito points for $1 to 925 Erudito points for $20.
This follows Ubisoft’s annual general meeting in September, during which Alain Martinez, Chief Financial Officer of Ubisoft, said the following.
There will be free-to-play on consoles, but in the future, with games like Watch Dogs, 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.
Analysis: This is basically just expanded DLC. Publishers have been trying to further monetize game purchases for ages, using things like expansion packs and DLC, and it’s unsurprising that Ubisoft is trying to create a market for in-game items amongst Assassin’s Creed customers. What’s interesting, however, is that they’ve chosen to use an in-game currency that players must invest in to be able to sell those items, which implies that Ubisoft wants to create a high volume of consistent traffic into item purchases. They’re not just selling a set of armor and a sword as a throwaway DLC pack here; Ubisoft is trying to create an entire market of items.
How the specifics all pan out is uncertain at this stage, of course, but it’s interesting to peer into Ubisoft’s brain and see the monetization strategies they intend to use going forward.