Ubisoft's upcoming console and PC title Assassin's Creed: Syndicate will offer users the chance to pay to accelerate progress.
Syndicate will include paid options to save time and accelerate progress,” senior producer Francois Pelland told IGN. The model for Assassin's Creed Syndicate is quite similar to Black Flag, allowing players who do not have time to fully explore our huge game world to still be able to eventually acquire the game's most powerful gear as well as other items.
Rest assured, all of AC Syndicate's content is available without paying anything additional and the game has been balanced such that microtransactions are 100 per cent optional.”
The fan reaction to microtransactions in triple-A, 50 titles is always hostile (as was the case with AC: Unity), with many arguing that premium in-game items only have a rightful place in free-to-play titles where players have not already paid for the game.
There is a counter argument, however. Provided the content is optional and not required, then there is undoubtedly a part of the market that is happy to have the option to pay for progress. While for many gamers money is sparse and time abundant, for some (typically older or professional) players the exact opposite is true. While the vocal internetarians may disagree with the practise purely on principle (which is fine), those who do not would likely ask why they should not be given the option?
(All of which is OK providing the game is not altered to artificially increase the appeal of boosters, such as through the forced delaying of progress).
And don't forget, console microtransactions are big business. Estimates last year pinned the sector as being worth $352m in 2013. In a refreshingly frank statement last year, Codemasters admitted that it offers DLC boosters because they sell”, adding: There is a silent subset of players that do like that sort of content.”
Assassin's Creed: Syndicate will be released on October 23rd.