Ubisoft Kills Online Pass Program

Ubisoft Kills Online Pass Program

Ubisoft is dropping its Uplay Passport online pass program for all future games. And it will effectively remove it from the just-released Assassin's Creed IV by providing the passes for free to all ACIV gamers, whether they get the game new or used.

The online pass program had required users of ACIV to input a code printed on a flyer packaged with each copy of the game. The code activated a variety of online features for the game's multiplayer and singleplayer modes. Some of those features made the game easier.

Anyone who bought the game used or simply borrowed it from a friend would need to buy their own Uplay Passport for $US10 to experience those features.

And yet only two days after the game's release and after blowback from fans and reports in the press, Ubisoft is essentially removing the feature and vowing to allow online access to all consumers in this game and all upcoming ones.

Here's the company's statement:

In Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag, "Edward's Fleet" is an innovative online single player feature that allows players 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.

Also, we will be eliminating the Uplay Passport program from all future Ubisoft games moving forward.

Ubisoft, long known for its stringent DRM has been changing its strategy in the last year or so. Credit public pressure, perhaps? Regardless, this is most likely a welcome trend.

To contact the author of this post, write to [email protected] or find him on Twitter @stephentotilo.


    Remove Uplay altogether, kthx.

      I don't mind uPlay in and of itself, though it seems like a stragely arbitrary way to give you bonus game content unlocks. I guess they just like having their own content delivery system, regardless of how pointless and inaccessible it is?

        I like it. You get free stuff for other games which is neat.

      God man, it's the worst piece of software out of the three big distribution programs. I hate it.

      Why? It allows unlocks and extra features that you don't have to pay for. Most publishers would make you pay 10 bucks for a weapon skin, Ubisoft gives it to you if you've played their games.

        Because I don't want to have to create a billion extra accounts for a billion extra pieces of software that I have to open up and run on top of whatever software I've just purchased, just to be able to play a few different games from different companies.

          I hear that. I brought tickets online a while back and they made me sign up for an account. Instead of just paying for the tickets and getting them I had to create an account, verify the account, use a password that met all their random criteria which will mean I'll almost certainly be locked out if I ever buy from them again. All so it can remember my name and address.

          I know Nintendo suck at online, but as annoying as it is sometimes I wish other places would adopt their "the thing you brought is your account" system.

          Last edited 01/11/13 12:43 pm

      I'd love to see other companies take up the idea of the Uplay rewards system. I'm not a fan of Uplay in total, but really do like the idea of "play game, get bonuses".

        really do like the idea of "play game, get bonuses"
        I thought games had already been doing that since forever :P

          Not lately. Now it's "play game, buy dlc for Bonuses that used to be in the game back in forever" ;p

    Well its good to see more and more companies are listening to their audience.
    Sure people could be all negative about it, but its nice to see a company doing something right (even if the initial decision was money grabbing)

      Technically this is a money grabbing decision too - because they're doing it to appease people, thus hoping to get more people to buy their products. :)

        True! But it's the "proper" style of "money grabbing"

        Every company is "money grabbing". It's how they stay in business. But there's the "negative" sell me your soul! and everything else approach (ala EA/Activision) or the more positive approach of being a "good" company!

    Credit where credits due, it might not be the removal of Uplay altogether, but it's at least the removal of an online pass. Ta Ubisoft.

      Yeah, props to 'em for a fast response like that and actually having the corporate cojones to reverse a decision which I have no doubt a lot of folks internally were married to.

      Good call, I think better of Ubisoft for it.

      (Yes, still pissed at not being able to play some games when uplay won't work, but that's an argument for another day. Today is thumbs up day for ubi.)

    Big Props on Ubisoft for this - Activision/EA should follow suit :P

      EA removed their Online Pass back in May this year and i believe was one of the first to do so. Also to my knowledge, Activision has never implemented an online pass system.

        I'm still skeptical on EA's motivations with that. They did it right before Microsoft announced they were making used game sales obsolete so I've got to think they were only doing it to get credit for removing something they thought they wouldn't need.
        I don't buy used games so I don't know, but I'm pretty sure EA didn't go ahead and change the existing online pass prices to $0.

        Last edited 01/11/13 12:14 pm

          They actually did just that. All of their online passes became the low low price of free.

    It's things like this, that just make my love and respect for Ubisoft grow even more. They are proving they can deliver big-budget, cinematic games, interweave online features together and yet still provide customer support and service when it's needed.

    Kudos Ubisoft.

    Edit: Does anyone know, will the Online Features such as the Social Treasure Chests require Xbox Live Gold, or is it being managed through uPlay/internet connection?

    Last edited 01/11/13 10:28 am

    It feels like this upcoming generation is the generation of companies responding to outcry (both good and bad). It's nice to see.

    It's good that they got rid of it, but at the same time it surprises me they didn't take it upon themselves to remove it after they saw EA/CM get rid of the passes and how happy that made people. Either way, win win! :)

    If I am correct does that mean no more passes from any of the major publishers? We know EA and Codemasters dropped it, now Ubisoft..... I think the only one left would have been THQ, but with them out of the picture it looks like that's it for online passes?

    Oh no, what will idiots use as their lame excuse to justify pirating Ubisoft games now!!

    Last edited 01/11/13 11:52 am

      Yves Guillemot's hair look stupid. Maybe you sheep will sit back and take it, but I'm not going to take this sort of crap anymore!

      You asked a question, you actually require a few question marks to replace those exclamation marks. It's also irrelevant; you can rarely play online with pirated games, seeing as you need accounts and stuff.

      Last edited 01/11/13 3:50 pm

        It's in reference to a lot of people commonly mentioning they pirate the games because they hate all their DRM stuff. Came up a lot when FC3 game out, or whenever a new AC game comes out. It's just a pathetic excuse. There is no excuse to pirate games. It's always funny the silly ones people come up with.

    I thought they killed this a while ago... or am I confusing the with someone else?

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