Assassin’s Creed Mirage will not have real gambling or loot boxes, according to Ubisoft. Following the launch of the game on the Microsoft Store, it was briefly flagged as being rated ‘Adults Only’ with references to real gambling, intense violence, blood and gore, sexual themes and partial nudity. But according to the developer, this rating was a labelling error. The mistake has now been corrected, with the Microsoft Store listing now reflecting a lower, expected rating for the game.
‘Following the announcement of Assassin’s Creed Mirage during Ubisoft Forward, some store pages mistakenly displayed the game for preorders with an Adults Only ESRB rating,’ Ubisoft told Eurogamer. ‘While Assassin’s Creed Mirage is still pending rating, Ubisoft wants to reassure players that no real gambling or loot boxes are present in the game.’
While the rating was only present for a brief period, it caused major confusion amongst fans, who worried that the inclusion of loot boxes would dampen the overall experience of Mirage. As noted by Polygon, the ESRB’s Adults Only rating is also extremely rare – the equivalent of R18+ in Australia.
Few games are given this rating, and only in extreme circumstances. It makes them very difficult to market and advertise, and presents major issues with finding a mainstream audience, as only select stores can sell Adults Only games. To date, the Assassin’s Creed games have also floated around the ESRB M-rating, which made the Mirage situation a major anomaly.
The removed rating appears to be a simple mistake, rather than a reaction to fan complaints – the Microsoft Store now indicates an M-rating is likely for the future, with no references to real gambling or loot boxes included. Mirage will be a meaty, standalone experience that will not be supported by chance-based microtransactions.
When the adventure launches in 2023, expect it to be more in line with other Assassin’s Creed games. While the brief confusion raised concerns about the future of the franchise, Ubisoft has been very quick to reassure fans and hype up the ‘back to basics‘ sequel.