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With Assassin's Creed 3, Ubisoft has found a new way to make money. They're going to be introducing microtransactions to the series with this latest game.
WorthPlaying reports that both Xbox Live and PlayStation Network will be selling bundles of "Erudito" for the game. This currency is used to "acquire some game items, disregarding your current level." The mention of "level" probably means that these are early unlocks for multiplayer. It's also possible that single-player has some sort of level-based progression as well, though.
You can buy several different quantities of Erudito. The smallest quantity, a pack of 20, costs $1. The $20 bundle will give you 925 Erudito. It's hard to evaluate whether any of this is a rip-off without knowing how much of this currency you'd need to unlock certain items.
In the past, Ubisoft made their post-launch money for AC off downloadable content packs. They plan to keep doing that. However, these microtransactions will let them make even more money off the hardcore crowd.
Eruditos, in case you're wondering, are an important group in AC lore. They seek to expose the activities of Abstergo Industries. They made contact with both Desmond Miles and the recruits in Assassin's Creed: Revelations multiplayer.
AC3 will debut this week on the PS3 and Xbox 360. Expect these microtransactions to be available as soon as the game launches.