UbiSoft Introduces "Uplay Passport," Online Passes Officially Ridiculous

Online passes continue to rip-off gaming consumers.

By , Contributor
Prolific game publisher/developer UbiSoft, one of the largest in the world, is jumping in with their variation of the online pass. Beginning with their attempt to revitalize the previously dormant open-world franchise Driver: San Francisco, high profile titles from the company will utilize the pass.

From their press release, UbiSoft states that the pass will, "provide players with access to bonus content, exclusive offers, and online multiplayer play."

To clarify, when you purchase a brand new $60 video game, content is locked. You cannot access certain parts (online play, special items) without entering a code that came in the box. This all must be done online. This means three things:

1. Paying customers who show their support for their products now must justify their purchases to the game company in question. Paying $60 for a piece of entertainment isn't enough anymore.

2. Users without broadband internet access are simply shut out from content they rightfully paid for. According to companies instituting these passes, these customers are not worthy of the full game as opposed to the person who has broadband.

3. This screws multi-game households. If you have two children with their own individual Xbox Live or PlayStation Network accounts, only the account holder who first purchased the software can use the one-time code that was in the box. The other will have to pay $10 to download the pass online.

EA, Warner, Codemasters, THQ, Sony, and now UbiSoft claim this is about fighting against used game sales and server costs. To issue a rebuttal to the former, smaller game publishers worth a pittance to those corporate giants, names like D3 and Atlus, don't have an issue with customers selling their games to GameStop. PopCap didn't either if you're looking for a wider comparison, although now that EA owns them, who knows.

As far as server costs go, a used game sale doesn't add to the network burden. One copy is sold, one copy is purchased, it's still only one person online. On top of that, with the exception of EA, Microsoft handles the Xbox bandwidth, not the individual developer. How is UbiSoft losing out on server costs? They're not. Of course, they don't want you to know that.

It would only make them look greedy as they take a larger slice of the $74 billion industry. And yes, that's "billion." With a B.

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Matt Paprocki is a 13-year veteran of the video game, movie, and home media scene. He has written thousands of reviews, has been published on a variety of websites, and contributes his thoughts daily on a diverse range of topics.

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