Assassin’s Creed Origins may be the next title to cash in on the loot box craze, but its developer, Ubisoft, wants to set the record straight. Although players can spend real money on loot boxes if they so choose, it is also possible to buy loot boxes using AC Origins’ in-game currency as well.
During an early preview of Assassin’s Creed Origins on Twitch, the Ubisoft developers offered an extensive look at the game. They showed off some of the combat, the missions, and the story, before eventually checking out the Nomad’s Bazaar. At the Bazaar, players will be able to purchase crafting materials as well as a Heka Chest, which contains ‘one random weapon or shield.’
It was a bold choice showing a loot box system on stream, but the Assassin’s Creed Origins team was quick to point out that the currency required to purchase the Heka Chest can only be acquired in-game. This gold (if you will) does not have a real money conversion.
Make no mistake, Assassin’s Creed Origins will have microtransactions, but Ubisoft wants to assure players that they can acquire high-quality loot without putting any extra money into the game. It’s a similar approach to Middle-earth: Shadow of War, another single-player-focused game that came under fire for its introduction of microtransactions. That game offered players the option to purchase loot boxes if they want but never forced them to in order to complete the game. That is until they started the endgame.
While past Assassin’s Creed games have let players equip new armor and weapons, Origins will be the first mainline game to introduce a loot system. As can be seen in the short clip above, loot will come in various rarity tiers, which presumably will carry unique perks the higher up the tree they go. However, what isn’t clear from the clip is how easy it will be to acquire the rarest items, and whether there are ways to buy loot boxes that guarantee better items.
Whether gamers like it or not, loot boxes don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, many developers and publishers are shifting towards games as service instead of offering a single player, story-driven titles. Look what happened with Visceral Games and its Star Wars title.