Assassin's Creed Origins' Microtransactions (Mostly) Get You Things You Can Earn While Playing, Ubisoft Says

There are microtransactions in Assassin's Creed Origins, as there have been in the last two big installments of the series. The game's publisher, Ubisoft, says that most of what you can spend them on can be obtained just by playing the game, though it's a little more complicated than that.

Origins' in-game store, which is not yet fully live in the PS4 copies we have at Kotaku, lists several types of purchasable content. These items are sold for Helix Credits.

You get 500 Helix credits if you buy the game's $US40 season pass and 200 for finishing the game's prologue. Other than that, you'll have to spend real money to get them.

According to a Ubisoft rep, here's the price breakdown for Helix credits:

  • 500 - $US4.99 ($7)
  • 1050 - $US9.99 ($13)
  • 2400 - $US19.99 ($26)
  • 4600 - $US34.99 ($46)
  • 7400 - $US49.99 ($65)

In the gear section of the store, a unicorn mount goes for 500 Helix. A legendary-grade Lord of Bones predator bow goes for 250. In the time-saver part of the store, you can reap the rewards of levelling up faster by just spending 300 Helix on three ability points, which unlock skills in the game.

Or you can spend 1000 Helix to obtain 300 units of each of the game's six crafting materials.

Buy these only if you're not satisfied with the billion swords and bows that keep dropping as you play through the game.

The rep told us, as has been reported before, that "In Assassin's Creed Origins, anything that players can purchase with real money is also unlockable by just playing the game."

Things like the crafting materials, for example, can be obtained by hunting animals in the game's vast Egyptian wilderness or by disassembling the many weapons that defeated enemies drop. That bow you can buy can also turn up in the game as a drop.

Maps that show you where the game's hidden locations are can only be obtained through Helix credits this time around.

Pressed on the idea that everything in the shop can be obtained in the game, the rep confirmed that outfits (and presumably other in-game items like mounts and weapons) that can be bought with Helix can also be obtained from gameplay.

But, they noted, the maps that reveal item locations are only purchasable with Helix. Such maps had been obtainable in the earliest Assassin's Creeds just by playing the game.

For Origins, the rep said, those maps "are not technically in-game items and can only be obtained with Helix Credits. The locations that those maps highlight can be discovered in the world and explored by just playing the game."

The maps aren't required to finish the game and are basically a shortcut to finding stuff you can't track down naturally. They sell for 200 Helix each or in a bundle for 400. One of the great pleasures of Origins is exploring the map and discovering things for yourself, at least.

ACO's version of a lootbox.

While not new to the Assassin's Creed series, in-game microtransactions have become more prevalent (and controversial) recently, notably with the inclusion of random "loot boxes" in fall games like Middle-Earth: Shadow of War and the upcoming Star Wars: Battlefront II.

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It's understandable why people don't like loot boxes: they're rooted in gambling psychology and fundamentally exploitative. Origins has lootboxes, too, though they are sold only for in-game currency (which, yes, can also be purchased with Helix).

Origins ' microtransactions in the game's store at least tell you exactly what you're paying for. If you want to buy this stuff, that's fine, but you probably won't feel the need to. You'll get plenty of cool bows and horses by just playing normally. It's just a shame about those maps.

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Comments

    But, they noted, the maps that reveal item locations are only purchasable with Helix. Such maps had been obtainable in the earliest Assassin's Creeds just by playing the game.Oh fuck off!
    This is one of the things that caused fan hatred in Unity. In Unity you could purchase maps to reveal hidden treasures, but it only showed 90% of each zones collectables. The other 10% were locked behind Maps that required spending real money. After a year the store seemingly disabled micro transactions so you couldn’t even buy them with your starting money.
    This is not going to increase revinue. Instead it’s just going to upset fans who will just use a map via websites, and additionally could lead to another Unity->Syndicate sales slump from angered fans.

      Completely agreed. Letalone the fact that those maps basically make any game that has them a dance around the map clearing all collectibles and takes the fun or excitement out of scouring for them or finding them randomly! Don't get me wrong i use them and dont have any problems with people using them but would i pay REAL money for them?! Hell no! I just use them when i want to close out a map and hit platinum!

      Agreed. Was all set to purchase this game, now I have decided to finally stick the AC series in the grave. It is clear the publishers hold their customers in contempt by such actions.

      For this reason, I will be purchasing this game second hand.

      Yep. JUST before I read this article, I was looking at CDkeys and Greenmangaming, wondering "Where can I get the best price for AC:O"... then I read all about the microtransactions and things being hidden behind paywalls.

      Now I just can't be bothered. I picked up Wolfenstein 2 yesterday, which is AMAZING. I'll be fine with that.

    Go to hell....

    Here's my break down Ubiscam.
    500 - $US0($0)
    1050 - $US0($0)
    2400 - $US0($0)
    4600 - $US0($0)
    7400 - $US0($0)

    And it turns out people will post walkthroughs for the treasure locations, so I imagine the treasures in the next AC won't appear until the map is purchased.

    Oh, did I mention, go to hell...

    The maps aren't required to finish the game and are basically a shortcut to finding stuff you can't track down naturally ... One of the great pleasures of Origins is exploring the map and discovering things for yourself, at least.
    I'm all for exploring, but in previous (supposedly much smaller) AC games it was near impossible to find every single collectible just by exploring. Items existed not only horizontally, but also vertically, and could be very small (like the feathers). Previously these maps were a great way to extend game longevity after the game was completed by "mopping up" all the things you missed. If this is just locations, fine. If it's things like those damn near invisible feathers then completionists will have to either explore every square foot of game space now or pay real money.

    What ever happened to climbing a tower lookout to reveal all the items for that area of the map? Now I have to pay for it?? Get stuffed. This perfectly shows how finished games are now being sold "unfinsihed" to make more money through microtransactions.

    So they give you just enough currency to... be slighly short of anything except part of something that used to be free. Now I'm really looking forward to the user reviews :P

      That tactic - along with currency bundles in increments that don't match any item price - is such slimy fucking bullshit. Anyone who designs a microtransaction system that ensures that a punter cannot buy a pack and spend it without having some left over is scum.

    Is it too much to ask that in future we call this series "Assassin's Greed" ;)

    I’m not trying to sound like a snob or anything, but Assasins Creed was always kind of a trashy, cash-in, bag-of-shit game.

    They can kiss my weebus if they think I’m buying this lard.

    Honestly compared to most implementations of loot boxes, this doesn't seem that bad.

    I just wrote a million words on the review page about why i think AC has lost it's way and why it saddens me as a long time fan - I hadn't even thought about the MT's until now. Yup, nail in the coffin, i wasn't going to buy it until much cheaper anyway as it pains me to see what the series has become, but I just think i'm done with it now reading this.

    There are better stealth games, there are games with better open worlds, there are games with better combat & there are games that don't charge me extra just to play the sodding thing - all of which are more deserving of my time and money than this farcical series.

    Hang on - the last few AC games have allowed you to earn Helix points in game, always enough to buy the maps (the only things actually worth getting). Other than the 200 you get for finishing the prologue, is that no longer the case? Or is this a new outrage that is actually not new at all?

    I don't believe this is true:

    The maps aren't required to finish the game and are basically a shortcut to finding stuff you can't track down naturally. They sell for 200 Helix each or in a bundle for 400.

    Because the single ones say: Reveal all
    And the bundle says: Reveal the most hidden

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