GAMING BLEND

Ubisoft Does Right By Gamers: Online Passes Are Gone

By William Usher 2013-11-01 09:15:13 discussion comments
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First it was Electronic Arts, and then it was Sony, now it's Ubisoft. The French-born software developer and publisher has made it known in a open blog that they will no longer support or house Online Passes in their games. This is definitely a good thing, especially after Sony mandated that third-party publishers couldn't use Online Passes anymore on the PS4 anyway.

Hardcore Gamer picked up the news from the official Ubisoft blog, where Ubisoft openly and blatantly states that...
Uplay Passport will not be a part of any future Ubisoft games.

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.

I don't know if there are any Uplay supporters around these parts, but hot dang was this nothing more than a messy piece of crap. I admit, Uplay definitely works better and is more reliable than Games For Windows Live, but at the same time it's also terribly cumbersome and leaves a pretty big memory footprint where it tread, so much so that it was obvious the system was being weighed down by something weighty and huge, and I'm not the kind of gamer who puts elephant dung inside the hard case.

Console gamers got it off a little bit easier – you still had to register with Uplay and it still had to log gamers into the standard platform's network service and then log into Ubisoft's Uplay thereafter, but the hoop-jumping was a little less burdensome than what was featured on the PC side.

While Ubisoft has admitted that they are doing away with the Uplay passport codes, they make no mention of doing away with Uplay itself. I imagine they'll want to keep their rickety digital distribution store around for some potential extra coin, though I have no idea how good an idea that actually is and whether it will cost them greatly in the operating costs sector.

I also have a hard time gauging which is worse between Origin and Uplay: The good thing about Origin is that it's away from other services and you have to open the client separately. It also keeps itself clean and out of the way. The only problem is that Origin exclusive games are Origin exclusive, and I'm not fond of being EA's little ho. Uplay is at least compatible with Steam, so you don't entirely need a separate client but you do need the Uplay plugin, which still makes it inconvenient. However, not having to be pimped exclusively by Ubisoft's client to play Ubisoft games eases the transition.

For the most part, everyone else making their own clients are doing it wrong. CD Projekt RED has the most foresight into the matter and seems to understand that gamers just want to download and play their games as hassle-free as possible. CD Projekt's DRM-free approach and client-less philosophy really helps them win brownie points at every turn.

Hopefully this gesture of good will continue to echo throughout the corporate chambers of Ubisoft as gamers let down their guard and Ubisoft continues to let of DRM.

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is available right now for current-gen systems and will be available for next-gen systems and PC throughout November. If you already purchased a Uplay passport for the game, be sure to contact Ubisoft's customer support to help get the situation straightened out, for further information on the Uplay passport, feel free to pay a visit to the official Ubisoft blog.

(Main image courtesy of Kotaku)
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