Ubisoft got blasted for putting a "time-saving" experience point booster into Assassin's Creed Odyssey — a booster that you could purchase with real money. However, the microtransaction didn't make it into the sequel, Assassin's Creed Valhalla, when the game launched on PS5 and PS4 last month.
Some saw this as cause for celebration. Valhalla still has its own storefront where players can choose to spend actual cash on cosmetics and unique equipment, but it was looking like Ubisoft had abandoned one of its more controversial microtransactions.
It's never too late to better monetise your product, however. With the introduction of update 1.010, Valhalla's in-game shop now sports its very own 'XP Boost'. As the name suggests, this save-wide purchase permanently boosts all of your experience gains by 50 per cent, effectively eliminating 50 per cent of the game's "grind". The XP Boost costs 1000 Helix Credits, which translates to $10 US.
Of course, adding a microtransaction like this to a game that released a whole month ago is always going to look shady. For starters, reviews don't mention it because the XP Boost didn't exist when said reviews were written. It's also convenient that it's arriving just before Christmas — a period where a lot of people have a few precious days off work to sit back and relax. To them, a "time-saving" XP Boost might seem like a good idea.
Ubisoft sent the following statement to Game Informer:
"As more and more post-launch content becomes available, we want to give the option to players to advance their progression. Utilities allow players who lack the time to fully explore the world of Assassin's Creed Valhalla to be able to acquire the game’s best gear, as well as other items, by accelerating their progress. For instance, these players can purchase maps that uncover some interesting locations in the world, but would still have to visit and play them to get their rewards."
Needless to say, we're not exactly surprised by the sudden appearance of this microtransaction.
What do you think of this? Don't reach for your wallet in the comments section below.