Starting with this week’s release of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Ubisoft has decided to end its uPlay Passport program. In a post on their blog, the company confirmed that due to customer complaints, “the Uplay Passport will not be a part of any future Ubisoft games.” This comes on the heels of the fact that Black Flag already shipped with online pass codes included in the box, but that will no longer be necessary for online use.
This is not the first time Ubisoft has discontinued certain anti-consumer practices. Even more notable than the online pass, was the company’s terrible PC DRM (which was also under the Uplay banner) which required gamers to be online at all times in order to play certain titles. That program was discontinued in 2012 and Ubisoft switched over to the use of online passes, which are now also discontinued.
The online pass program, which was originally embraced by several companies, now appears to be falling out of favor with the impending launch of next-gen consoles. Electronic Arts discontinued support back in May and Sony recently revealed that their titles won’t be part of the program either. Hopefully the remaining few companies that support this practice will see the error of their ways too.
I shouldn’t have to tell you this, but this is nothing but good news for consumers. The online pass program was a huge cash grab for these publishers and probably did more damage to their reputations than it was worth. Hopefully by killing this practice off for good, companies like Ubi and EA will be able to rebuild their reputation.
Also, it’s important to note that the rest of the uPlay program will still be active (this includes the store, login system and reward system), only the online pass portion has been eliminated.