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Assassin’s Creed Valhalla adds XP boost microtransactions after launch to avoid reviews

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla screenshot

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla – pay to win is back (pic: Ubisoft)

Ubisoft has taken a leaf out of Activision’s playbook by adding microtransactions to a game after it’s already been reviewed and age-rated.

Loot boxes and microtransactions are far less of a plague now than they were a few years ago, at least when it comes to full price games, but the usual suspects do keep trying to sneak them in when they can get away with them, often a month or two after the game is released.

Activision started the practice, adding microtransactions to several Call Of Duty games (and Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled) after launch, seemingly in an attempt to avoid having them mentioned in reviews or in product warnings on the physical packaging.

Now Ubisoft seems to be following the same plan, by adding XP boost packs to Assassin’s Creed Valhalla a month after it launches, allowing people to pay to earn experience points or in-game currency more quickly.

XP boosts were in previous entry Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, raising suspicions that the game had been specifically designed to require tedious level grinding just so people would be encouraged to pay for boosts.

That wasn’t a complaint that could be aimed at Valhalla, but now you can buy an XP boost for around £8.58 (depending on whether you bulk buy in-game currency) that increases the amount of experience you earn by 50%.

There’s also a boost for earning silver that works in the same way or a combo boost that increases both and costs around £12.88.

Ubisoft does have an excuse though, offering the following explanation 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.’

You’ll have to decide yourself whether that seems like a reasonable explanation but either way it’s clear that microtransactions in full price games is not something that’s going to go away entirely in the next gen.

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Source: Metro UK