UPDATE: Ubisoft has given Eurogamer an official explanation of the multiplayer Erudito Credits currency, which players will be able to buy using real world money.
The statement also reassures fans that all items unlocked using Erudito Credits can be obtained normally in-game.
"The Erudito Credits are a new way of unlocking content in Assassin's Creed 3's Multiplayer," a Ubisoft spokesperson said.
"People who have little time can use Erudito Credits as a shortcut to unlock game items from level 1 to 50 (excluding Prestige levels and relics rewards). This is not mandatory, all items sold in Erudito Credits are also available in Abstergo Credits and can be unlocked through normal progression like previous years."
ORIGINAL STORY: Assassin's Creed 3 will offer in-game currency to buy using real-world money, product listings on the PlayStation Store and Xbox Marketplace have revealed.
Bundles of Erudito Credits are available to buy in various amounts. It is a feature that Ubisoft has not spoken of to date.
The most expensive, a pack of 925 Erudito Credits, costs 1600 Microsoft Points (about £13.60).
The currency differs from the one used in Assassin's Creed 3's single-player campaign (that's good old British pounds), which suggests the credits will be used in the game's robust multiplayer mode - which now has its own disc.
"Buying this pack will grant you Erudito Credits in-game, allowing you to acquire some game items, disregarding your current level," an Xbox Marketplace listing reads (snapped by WorthPlaying).
The UK Xbox Marketplace currently shows no sign of the packs, although they were previously visible to some gamers. Meanwhile, the US PlayStation Store has listed the bundles in 20, 50, 155, 380 and 925 Credit amounts.
The credit system appears similar to the multiplayer packs used in Mass Effect 3, which provide weapon and character upgrades. These can be unlocked through currency earned in-game, or more quickly by parting with real-world cash.
Eurogamer has asked Ubisoft for comment.