Ubisoft has announced they will phase out its online pass program, starting with Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag. The game's Uplay Passport will be free to download on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, opening up the game's online features to everyone that plays the game.
Ubisoft said in a blog post that "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."
Online passes were previously offered for $9.99. Ubisoft adds that users that have already purchased AC4's online pass can contact customer service. No word on whether this announcement will affect previous games.