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Black Flag's Uplay Passport Unlocks Single Player Content

Using pirates to fight customers? That's new.

If you regularly purchase used games – or rent, borrow or otherwise access games as their second user – you’ll probably be quite familiar with the concept of the multiplayer not working. But bits of the single player game being neatly walled off behind these box-in one-use codes? That’s not quite so familiar.

That’s the case with Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag’s fleet system and Ubisoft’s Uplay Passport.

The system works like this: board a ship during the game and you’ll have the option to add that ship to your fleet and use it through the course of the game in much the same way as you used recruited assassins in Brotherhood. You can dispatch it around to do a spot of plundering on your behalf, basically. That yields plenty of benefits in your single player game. Without the Uplay Passport, that aspect won’t function.

The Uplay Passport is a single use code that comes in every box when you buy the game new. If you buy it second hand or borrow a friend’s copy and they’ve already used the code then you’ll have to purchase a new code from the online stores if you want to access this useful element of the game.

There are some online elements to this fleet system – your friends can assist you on missions. That said, it’s not integral to how the system works in your single player game and could easily have been cut off for those without what we would have collectively called an “Online Pass” a few months ago.

So, is this an understandable and necessary step for Ubisoft to take in the fight against pre-owned sales that they see negligible benefits from? Or, is it another egregious assault on the consumer by a bunch of greedy suits around a board table somewhere?

Source: GameInformer

  1. djdustb
    Since: Nov 2008

    That sucks. So if I buy the game and use the code then another user who lives with me and so shares my PS3 and my games collection (like most families would) cannot use this element.

    Comment posted on 30/10/2013 at 11:18.
  2. TSBonyman
    Since: Dec 2009

    That is the sort of practise that actually encourages me to buy second hand. Hopefully they won’t do anything similar with Watch Dogs.

    Comment posted on 30/10/2013 at 12:09.
  3. KeRaSh
    Since: Nov 2009

    Well, that sucks for my friend then. He’ll be getting my copy to play through after I’m done with it.

    Comment posted on 30/10/2013 at 12:17.
  4. The Lone Steven
    Never heard of him.
    Since: May 2010

    I discovered this last night and am a bit annoyed as i liked the AC3 version of it. Okay, it wasn’t fun but it wasn’t crap either. It’s just there. And because i lack any form of connection to PSN, i’m unable to make use of my fleet. Git. And there is little to no reason for it. If they have an app for it, fair enough but don’t lock out everyone who lacks a connection or dared to engage in some piracy by buying it preowned.

    Comment posted on 30/10/2013 at 12:52.
  5. Bladesteel
    Since: Sep 2008

    For the last question, I think it’s neither.

    It’s a stupid decision made by suits that have no concept of how the market works for real people with normal incomes. By reducing resale value they are also reducing the value of the product when it’s brand new. This can and will lose them some sales. (What I’m willing to pay for any product is affected by whether I can expect do get any of it back when I’m done with it). In addition they will lose some sales to those of us that have more games than time, and choose not to reward stupidity.

    Comment posted on 30/10/2013 at 15:15.
  6. hazelam
    Since: Feb 2009

    i think i’ve made my opinion on this sort of thing pretty clear in the past.

    put this in the, never buy new, list.
    well, it was gonna be there anyway with their online pass thing.

    honestly, i’d rather go without the content than support this kind of thing.

    Comment posted on 30/10/2013 at 16:17.

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