In spite of annual Assassin’s Creed series releases, gamers remain committed to Ubisoft‘s open-world tale of assassins and templars battling throughout history. While many rolled their eyes at the prospect of Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag, following a somewhat underwhelming response to Assassin’s Creed 3, the pirate adventure reinvigorated the franchise across two generations of hardware – with many players ranking the title among their favorite AC series games to date.
In order to further up the ante for this year’s release, Assassin’s Creed: Unity, the publisher has included one especially sought-after feature – four player campaign co-op. E3 demoes of sandbox multiplayer gameplay promised a new level of strategy and immersion – setting the stage for one of the most-anticipated releases of 2014. Understandably, some gamers might not be ready to plunk down money on a pre-order quite yet (especially those frustrated by the absence of playable female heroes) but, for those who are convinced they’ll want Unity on Day One, the developer has unveiled an interesting approach to pre-order bonusing.
According to a new Assassin’s Creed: Unity video, which you can view above, the publisher is supplementing retail specific pre-orders (such as GameStop’s exclusive “Razor Head Spear”) and the universal “Chemical Revolution” DLC mission with a “spin to win” game – where players with an eligible pre-order will be given weekly opportunities to collect a variety of prizes.
Specifically, pre-ordering Unity will earn buyers five tokens each week – which can then be used to spin in a slot-machine-style game. Each token provides a separate chance to win in the “Guillotine: Prize Drop” – meaning that gamers who pre-order early will get more spins than those who wait until closer to release. For instance, those who pre-order today (06/25/2014 at the time of this writing) will receive nearly 100 spins in the game whereas those who pre-order a month before release will only get to play 20 times. For years, gamers have (usually) been able to take advantage of the same pre-order bonus whether they reserved their copies months or days in advance. Without question, Ubisoft’s time-sensitive pre-order strategy should encourage certain gamers to commit earlier than they might have otherwise and it will be interesting to see if other publishers test-out similar giveaways in the future.
As for what goodies gamers will be spinning for, Ubisoft indicates that prizes are only available for a limited time (though it is possible smaller prizes will remain in rotation until Unity hits store shelves). The publisher may announce other prizes in the future but, for now, we’ve listed the major ones below:
- In game content: a Hooked Impaler Spear for Assassin’s Creed: Unity.
- Home entertainment systems and Assassin’s Creed themed consoles.
- A trip to San Diego Comic-Con or Ubisoft Montreal.
- Assassin’s Creed and Ubisoft memorabilia: cell phone cases, wall posters, wireless headphones, weapon replicas, and more!
In addition to the spin game, every token also provides buyers an entry toward the Grand Prize Package – an all expense paid trip to Paris, France.
To play the Prize Drop, gamers will need to visit at assassinscreed.com/play with a unique access code – which, according to the video, should be provided by retailers at the time of pre-order.
Unity is set for release on next-generation consoles (PS4 and Xbox One) as well as PC; that said, it is unknown at this time if the PC version will, once again, be pushed back a few weeks. Several Assassin’s Creed titles, not to mention several other Ubisoft brand games, have been delayed on PC – and many expect Unity will continue the tradition.
Yet, according to an interview with Rock, Paper, Shotgun, the publisher is pushing extra hard this year to get Assassin’s Creed: Unity PC out alongside its console brethren. Producer Lesley Phord-Toy acknowledged that it’s been a challenge to make prior games available across all platforms on the same day but promises that, as of right now, the PC version of Unity is on schedule for launch.
“It can be challenging. PC has a variety of different hardware configurations that you can’t necessarily predict. On a console you know what’s in the box. Every customer has the same configuration for the most part, and first-parties push firmware updates so everyone has what you’re expecting to have. PCs are nowhere near as consistent. So it can be extremely challenging to try and support as many of those permutations as possible.”
“We’re always aiming to ship all our games on all platforms at the same time. I don’t have any specific news on the PC version of Assassin’s Creed Unity, but I do know we’re planning on shipping on all three: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. I haven’t heard any news differently than that […] Ubi has been very successful at achieving same-ship in the recent past, so we’re very confident that we’ll be able to do the same for Assassin’s Creed Unity.”
It’s worth mentioning that previous delays weren’t announced until farther into the development cycle – meaning that just because the PC iteration is currently on schedule doesn’t mean that it won’t get pushed back further down the line.
Either way, it’s good to hear that Ubisoft is aware of their reputation with PC gamers – and the numerous frustrations that non-console players have endured in the past. Hopefully, if nothing else, the publisher will keep UPlay from crashing this round – after overloaded servers prevented PC gamers from being able to play Watch Dogs at launch.
Assassin’s Creed: Unity will be released for PC, PS4 and Xbox One on October 28, 2014.
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