Assassin’s Creed fans are already worried about the monetization model of Mirage, but pending ESRB changes mean those concerns look premature.
Revealed in a recent showcase, Assassin’s Creed Mirage is set to be the series’ next mainline entry, returning the heavyweight Ubisoft series to its roots in a new stealth-focused adventure. Currently, it’s the only game in the Assassin’s Creed franchise listed with an Adults Only 18+ age rating, partly because of its supposed gambling mechanics.
As one Reddit fan spotted on the game’s Xbox store, the ESRB – the US’s official media age rating agency – says the game will include “real gambling”, meaning the “player can gamble, including betting or wagering real cash or currency”. That’s opposed to “simulated gambling”, which would allow players to gamble using an in-game currency without spending real cash.
Cards on the table
The description already has fans on Reddit and ResetEra concerned about what in-game monetization models might appear in Mirage. Ubisoft is no stranger to ancillary cash-based models, introducing them to games like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Rainbow Six Extraction.
But concerns over Mirage’s gambling mechanics appear somewhat unfounded. Despite what the game’s Xbox store page suggests, Mirage hasn’t yet been officially rated and isn’t listed in the ESRB’s catalog. Set to release in 2023, the Adults Only rating is likely only a placeholder that will be updated closer to launch. The provisional rating doesn’t even appear in every instance, with a short teaser trailer on the game’s official Instagram page showing its ESRB rating is still pending.
And if gambling does appear in the game, it likely won’t involve loot boxes – as some concerned Assassin's Creed fans have suspected. Since 2020, the ESRB has labeled all games “that include purchases with any randomized elements, including loot boxes, gacha games, item or card packs, prize wheels, treasure chests, and more” as possessing “in-game purchases”. That label doesn’t appear in Mirage’s preliminary rating.
It’s more likely that Mirage will be rated Mature, in line with past entries in the Assassin’s Creed series. Publishers rarely release games rated Adult Only, aiming for the lowest age rating possible to push their titles to the widest consumer market. Even a game as bombastically violent as GTA 5 escaped the Adult Only category. For now, then, don’t expect Mirage to include gambling.
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Callum is TechRadar Gaming’s News Writer. You’ll find him whipping up stories about all the latest happenings in the gaming world, as well as penning the odd feature and review. Before coming to TechRadar, he wrote freelance for various sites, including Clash, The Telegraph, and Gamesindustry.biz, and worked as a Staff Writer at Wargamer. Strategy games and RPGs are his bread and butter, but he’ll eat anything that spins a captivating narrative. He also loves tabletop games, and will happily chew your ear off about TTRPGs and board games.