For years, PC gamers have had to deal with DRM that would force you to constantly validate your software, prevent you from installing it multiple times, and more. Console players, on the other hand, never had to worry about doing anything more than simply popping in a disc and playing their game. That all changed when companies thought it would be a great idea to introduce online passes. This essentially meant that you would need a special code to get access to certain content. The code was included with every new copy of the game, and served as a way for the publishers to make a little extra cash on used sales. The locked content was always limited to the online experience (thus the term “online pass”) however, Ubisoft has decided to up the ante with Assassin’s Creed IV.
When players (regardless of platform) attempt to manage their in-game fleet, they’re met with a message letting them know that the content can only be accessed by those with a Uplay Passport. The Passport, of course, is a code included with the game, much like the dreaded online passes we’ve seen in the past.
I was pretty excited when EA decided to take a step in the right direction and eliminate their online pass program. However, Ubisoft is taking a step in the opposite direction. It’s one thing to limit the multiplayer experience in a game, but now they’re stopping players from accessing content that is used as a part of the single player campaign. Yes, you can interact with other players while managing your fleet, but that’s not the primary function of this gameplay element. After delaying Watchdogs into next year, Ubisoft really didn’t need something else for gamers to be upset about.