Ubisoft took a bit of flak yesterday from writers and readers alike, with many fans of the recently released Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, lamenting the fact that if you rented or borrowed the game, you wouldn’t be able to access Edward’s Fleet and other multiplayer features, because you needed the Uplay Passport code that came with the game. Gamers have long hated online-pass systems for games and they reminded Ubisoft of that fact. Now, the publisher has announced that it’s listened and will be scrapping the feature in ACIV and all future games.
Announced on the Ubisoft Blog, communication manager Gary Steinman said: “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.”
On top of that though, people who don’t have a pass at the moment can download one for free from Xbox Live or the PlayStation Network. If you’ve already paid for yours, Steinman recommends you get in touch with your “regional Ubisoft support.” While he doesn’t say as much, presumably that’s to get yourself a refund.
The biggest news though, is that Ubisoft is ending support for Uplay passports for all future games from the publisher.
“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,” Steinman continues. “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.”
He concluded by saying that Ubisoft would continue to listen to gamer feedback and hoped that this gesture alleviated any concerns people had about buying the game.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag was released worldwide on the 29th October (On Xbox 360 and PS3) to mainly positive reception, though some reviewers did suggest that it should have been a pure pirate game and not part of the Assassin’s Creed series.
KitGuru Says: Well, good guy Ubisoft. I didn’t see that coming. It’s a good sign that Ubisoft is listening to customers at least and the end of online passes is something we’ve all wanted for some time. Hopefully we can finally put this irritating practice to bed.