Get your passport ready to play online.
Ubisoft confirmed today that it’s the next publisher to use an online pass to unlock the online multiplayer in its releases. The French publisher’s online pass is called the “Uplay Passport.”
The Uplay Passport will come in all new copies of Ubiosoft releases. The one-time use code will give players full access to the online content and multiplayer modes in Ubisoft games. For those that buy a Ubisoft game pre-owned, borrow it from a friend or rent it from a service, they will need to buy their own Passport to play online multiplayer. The Uplay Passport will cost $9.99 on the PlayStation Network Store or 800 Microsoft Points on the Xbox Live Marketplace.
The Uplay Passport will also give players exclusive offers and bonus content. Ubisoft didn’t outline what exactly these offers and bonus content would be for those with the Passport. The first game to use the Uplay Passport will be Driver: San Francisco.
Driver: San Francisco, being developed by the UK-based Ubisoft Reflections, is set to release for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 Aug. 30. There’s also a Nintendo Wii, Nintendo 3DS, Mac and PC version of San Fransisco being released the same day.
Ubisoft also said many future core titles will use the Uplay Passport. Assassin’s Creed: Revelations will release on Nov. 15 and features several online multiplayer modes. In early 2012 the Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier will have integral online multiplayer components. These games haven’t been confirmed to use the Passport.
The Uplay Passport is an extension of Ubisoft’s Uplay program that began in November 2009 with the release of Assassin’s Creed II for the PS3 and Xbox 360. Uplay unlocks exclusive in-game bonuses for players who complete certain tasks in Ubisoft games.
Those at Ubisoft had recently denied the existence of the Passport. Alexandre Breault, lead game designer for Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, told Gamerzines yesterday he wasn’t aware that Ubisoft would have its own online pass program. A Ubisoft representative told Gamasutra today that the company wouldn’t comment on rumor or speculation in regards to the Passport. In May of last year Ubisoft said it would probably create its own online pass system similar to EA’s.
The Uplay Passport is the latest attempt from game publishers to stop sales from the used game market and earn profits from them by restricting online components of a game. Sony announced last week that its first-party releases starting with Resistance 3 in September will use the “PSN Pass.” Warner Bros. and Codemasters introduced its own online pass system this year in games like Mortal Kombat, F.E.A.R. 3 and DiRT 3. Electronic Arts began the online pass system in early 2010 and began blocking out online multiplayer components in June with the release of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11.
The last Driver game, Driver 76, released exclusively for the PlayStation Portable May 8, 2007. The last console version in the series was Driver: Parallel Lines on the Wii which released June 26, 2007. The game also appeared on the PS2 and Xbox. Those versions released March 14, 2006. Ubisoft Reflections (formerly Reflections Interactive) has developed the series since its inception in 1999 on the PlayStation 1.
Photo by Microsoft