In the Microsoft Store and other digital markets, Assassin’s Creed Mirage is listed with an AO or “Adult Only” rating, but this is unlikely to remain in the release. In the entire history of ESRB, only 27 games have received an AO rating, and most companies will do everything possible to get rid of such a label. This is because the AO rating is usually associated with extreme levels of violence, overly sexual content, and something even worse. Most regular retailers will not sell games with an AO rating.
With that in mind, it might be strange to think that Assassin’s Creed Mirage could be stuck with such a rating, but that’s because of a relatively recent rating: Real Gambling. According to the Microsoft Store, Assassin’s Creed Mirage includes intense violence, blood and mutilation, sexual themes, partial nudity and real gambling. The last part is the only reason for the AO rating, since without it, the game would easily fall into the territory of the M rating, and probably will be at launch.
Why the AO rating of Assassin’s Creed Mirage Probably Won’t Stick
Firstly, despite the fact that digital trading platforms are now much more common, the refusal of retailers to sell a game with an AO rating is harmful to the company. Ubisoft is huge, but not that big. Just because of the stigma alone, the potential AO rating of Assassin’s Creed Mirage won’t stick, and that’s unless it’s somehow a mistake. Some retailers like Amazon are showing a rating expectation sign for Assassin’s Creed Mirage, and it makes sense. It’s still too early for a serious rating, as Ubisoft Bordeaux is still working hard on the game.
Perhaps it could have happened here that Ubisoft Forward showed an AO rating at the beginning of the show, but this could have been based on any of the live service games shown there. Real gambling will be associated with loot boxes, and for these games it makes sense. Especially since the ESRB is fighting gambling in video games. Microsoft Store and other platformers may have used this rating for every game shown on Ubisoft Forward, but that would obviously be a mistake. Mario and Rabbids: Sparks of Hope, for example, wouldn’t come close to the AO rating — Nintendo wouldn’t let it fly.
After all, in order for AC Mirage to get an AO rating based on real gambling, there had to be loot boxes or some way to spend real money without knowing what someone would get. It’s hard to imagine such a thing in a single-player game. All this remains to be seen, but until the official ESRB rating is published, fans should take these reports with a grain of salt.
Assassin’s Creed Mirage is coming out in 2023 for Luna, PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X.