No more uPlay Passports… ever!
Ubisoft’s uPlay Passport system has been scrapped. Ubisoft has announced that it would no longer charge gamers for their uPlay Passports, and instead make the extra content those Passports unlocked completely free for everyone.
Gary Steinman, Ubisoft’s Community Manager, announced the change in policy on the official Ubisoft blog a little while ago. The most recent Ubisoft game, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag was one of the games affected by the announcement.
This particular “online pass” left a bad taste in many Assassin’s Creed fans’ mouths as it was required to unlock some of the game’s cooler new features, like the ability to use a tablet-based companion app for things like managing your fleet of ships without being at your console, viewing the map and accessing menus.
While the uPlay Passport code is included in every brand-new copy of Assassin’s Creed IV at no extra charge, buyers of second-hand copies would be required to buy their own code at a cost of £7.99, which is around R96. This move is seen by gamers as attempts by publishers to gouge fans of their games for additional revenue that was lost through second-hand sales (publishers get nothing for those), effectively treating second-hand customers like shoplifters. This Kotaku article outlines the problem very nicely.
Online passes also pose a problem for gamers without reliable internet connections, as online activation is required to access the locked features.
Steinman’s statement reads:
Assassin’s Creed fans, we heard you loud and clear.
In Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag, Edward’s Fleet is an innovative online feature that allows a single player to interact with multiple players on consoles or via the game’s companion app. Every new copy of Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag includes the Uplay Passport code needed to unlock this online feature. However, we listen to our community and understand that there are concerns over some players’ ability to access this feature, so we have decided to eliminate the cost of the Uplay Passport for Black Flag. This ensures that everyone will be able to use the companion app, Edward’s Fleet, online multiplayer and available bonus content at no additional cost.
Furthermore, Steinman also wrote that the uPlay Passport will not be part of any future Ubisoft games, either, so it looks like gamers’ voices have truly been heard. Awesome stuff!