Online passes are a bane to gaming everywhere, preventing gamers from getting everything out of their otherwise legitimate copy of a game just because they happened to get the game secondhand. For the most part, most developers have gone ahead and scrapped their online pass systems, including Sony and even EA, of all people. Ubisoft, however, did not scrap their program, and what’s more, they made it even worse by restricting single player content if people didn’t have the code. Up to this point, online passes had only been used to restrict multiplayer.
Gamers were not happy about that decision, and they let Ubisoft know it. And unlike the Ubisoft of yesteryear, the one that kept draconian DRM on their PC games despite protests everywhere, this new Ubisoft has instead decided to listen to the players. They’ve gone ahead and taken out their “Passport” system immediately. Here’s an exerpt from Ubisoft’s statement about why they got rid of the Passport
The Uplay Passport program was initiated as a means of giving customers full access and support for online multiplayer and features, along with exclusive content, bonuses and rewards. However, games today are blurring the line between offline and online, between what is “single player” and what is “multiplayer.” Based on that and on the feedback we received from you, we recognized that Passport is no longer the best approach for ensuring that all our customers have the best possible experience with all facets of our games.
From now on, if you happen to buy a copy of Assassin’s Creed IV, you can just go to either Xbox Live or the PlayStation Network and download the Passport for free to unlock the features otherwise locked in the game. As for those poor schmuks who bought a Passport for the game? Just contact your regional Ubisoft support, and they’ll be able to help you out.