Ubisoft announces online pass, dubbed 'Uplay Passport'

Ubisoft announced its own online pass system today, titled Uplay Passport. It promises to unlock "bonus content, exclusive offers, and online multiplayer play" for new copies of games, or those willing to shell out $10.

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If you haven't heard, online passes are all the rage among publishers these days. Now Ubisoft has announced that it's getting in on the act, with the "Uplay Passport" program. Beginning with Driver: San Francisco in August, Ubisoft games will include a single-use registration code for Uplay Passport, which unlocks "bonus content, exclusive offers, and online multiplayer play." The announcement suggests it will also come to Ubi's other "popular core games" for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Of course, if you didn't grab a new copy, you can buy a Uplay Passport for $9.99 (800 MSP). This is similar to the system forged by EA Sports and later integrated into many other EA games. It's caught on and has been imitated by companies like THQ and even Sony.

The company is posing it as an extension of its existing Uplay program, which awards Ubisoft-specific currency to unlock content in its games by fulfilling game objectives. An Ubisoft representative has confirmed to Shacknews that those basic features will remain free, so any currency in your virtual wallet from past games won't be hidden behind a pay wall.

Besides Driver, specific games that will use the Uplay Passport weren't mentioned. Games with multiplayer components like Assassin's Creed Revelations and Ghost Recon: Future Soldier seem like safe bets.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    July 15, 2011 12:00 PM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Ubisoft announces online pass, dubbed 'Uplay Passport'.

    Ubisoft announced its own online pass system today, titled Uplay Passport. It promises to unlock "bonus content, exclusive offers, and online multiplayer play" for new copies of games, or those willing to shell out $10.

    • reply
      July 15, 2011 12:12 PM

      Ugly Passport

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      July 15, 2011 12:22 PM

      uPlay aka New for of DRM

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      July 15, 2011 12:47 PM

      lol

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      July 15, 2011 12:51 PM

      So long as they have their whole UPlay thing Ubisoft is a non-entity for me. They might as well not exist.

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      July 15, 2011 12:51 PM

      so, what some console games have been doing lately already?

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      July 15, 2011 12:52 PM

      Ukissmyass

    • Ebu legacy 10 years
      reply
      July 15, 2011 12:57 PM

      God dammit, EA. I fucking knew it. >:(

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      July 15, 2011 12:58 PM

      Just for this I am buying your SP games used. (which is basically almost everything I play) HA!

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      July 15, 2011 1:00 PM

      asian accent: uPay.. uPay now!

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      July 15, 2011 1:09 PM

      Sounds fine to me, especially if it is similar to what EA has been doing.

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      July 15, 2011 1:34 PM

      alright, cool.

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      July 15, 2011 1:37 PM

      so is this why I have to log into ubi, after being logged in via steam, to play conviction? >:(

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      July 15, 2011 1:41 PM

      I really hate the direction video game publishing is going :(

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        July 15, 2011 1:42 PM

        They just don't want to get wrecked by used sales anymore.

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          July 15, 2011 1:44 PM

          Seems like games are still finding ways to be successful and profitable today without this measure.

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            July 15, 2011 2:34 PM

            sure but

            #1 It is a business.
            #2 Why let another company make so much money off you. I mean it's not like people are not spending money, they are, it's just the money goes to Gamestop. Are game companies supposed to be in business to give Gamestop ridiculous profits?
            #3 A lot of games don't make much money, which means the studios go out of business, they make a different kid of game next time they believe will sell better, or they move the jobs to someplace cheaper so they don't have to sell as many NEW copies.

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          July 15, 2011 2:22 PM

          I get that, and even endorse the idea of free 0-day DLC for new purchasers, $10-$15 for used buyers. But this per-publisher passes and whatnot needs to die before it gets off the ground.

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          July 15, 2011 2:27 PM

          Used games have been a part of the industry for decades. I don't see how they suddenly started wrecking giant companies.

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            July 15, 2011 2:32 PM

            They're just grasping at whatever they can. They haven't learned that rentals increase sales (see VHS/DVD rental and Libraries).

            So they fight for quarterly profit instead of taking the Blizzard/Valve long view. If you release something good, people will buy it.

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              July 15, 2011 2:40 PM

              What I see in that chart is new software keeping pace pretty well over the last decade. The price hike to $60 probably accounts for some of the migration over to used titles.

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                July 15, 2011 6:28 PM

                what you should see is a big yellow bar getting really big

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                  July 15, 2011 10:22 PM

                  as a percentage of sales though, it hasn't changed all that much.

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                    July 15, 2011 11:14 PM

                    Also what you don't see is the cost of making games going up.

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                      July 16, 2011 10:18 AM

                      As has the price and market pool, your point?

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                        July 16, 2011 11:44 AM

                        I guess the point is they are putting in codes so they can make money off used game sales and you and gamestop can just suck it.

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                          July 16, 2011 1:33 PM

                          I don't give a shit about gamestop, but I do take an issue with selling a game that is only "complete" when bought new.

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            July 15, 2011 2:41 PM

            Used games market didn't used to be this big, it's like, almost half or more than half of the profits at Gamestop. Also games didn't used to cost more than 50 million dollars. The budgets are massive now, the team sizes are huge, the companies are under more pressure to sell more copies to recoup the larger than 1995 development costs.

            Not to mention just WHY would you not do this if you were a developer? Why would you not try and get a slice of the used game market if you know your game is being bought and sold over and over on the used game market? I mean should the developer feel like they owe gamestop the ability to buy and sell used as much as they want and to encourage everyone walking in through the door to put down that new copy and buy used even after you spent the money on building and marketing the game to get the customer into the gamestop door to pick up a new copy of the game and then be suggested by the gamestop employee to save $5 or less on a used copy? Does a game developer owe gamestop the ability to do this?

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              July 15, 2011 2:44 PM

              Oh I know exactly why they're doing it. I'm just a bit miffed that it's the only media that seems to get away with it.

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                July 15, 2011 2:55 PM

                The music industry doesn't really deal with it because people who are cheap just buy the single song for 99 cents or just steal the music so the music industry doesn't really need to combat used sales. They did try and provide extras if you bought an album on release but I don't think that worked out well.

                Movies make money in so many more places. The theaters, on TV, DVD sales, again on blu ray, then again on extended directors cut edition, then merchandise, rentals, netflix, etc. They have more ways to recoup costs by selling the same movie over and over and over again.

                Games are positioned so they basically get released and they make most of their money in that first 2-4 week period. Any money after that is probably going to be used sales unless you make an MMO. Also the tools for game development constantly change which increases the cost. The tech for music and movies is a bit more static. You don't have to teach the camera guy as much new stuff when a new camera comes out.

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                  July 15, 2011 3:03 PM

                  That tells me game developers are charging too much. It is too bad only Valve and the indies are learning that lesson that you actually make sales when you lower your prices.

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                    July 16, 2011 1:03 PM

                    All I have to say to this; is you have no idea what your talking about. Read about it some time.

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                  July 15, 2011 3:24 PM

                  lol, music has all their shit stolen anyways, so fuck them. Movies only need cameramen (not $100's of millions in special effects), so fuck them. Lets not even talk about books. Games are not a special form of media. I know they tend to be our favorite form of media around here, and I'm not against devs making a buck, but I'll keep my right of first sale thank you.

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                    July 15, 2011 3:29 PM

                    Movies need more than cameramen.

                    And you can keep your right to resell the game, or not buy it at all. shrug.

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                  July 15, 2011 6:27 PM

                  part of the reason for that is because no other media has a nationwide chain of stores every few miles basically dedicated to used sales.

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            July 15, 2011 2:58 PM

            It didn't suddenly start wrecking companies; the internet made it possible for the developers to recoup losses from used sales. And I reiterate that I wholly endorse the idea of a developer getting more money for their game when vultures like Gamestop go and resell it for near-new prices. What my initial gripe was is how publishers are all making their own online passes and the inevitability of a bunch of exclusives ending up on those platforms and requiring 10 subscriptions to these stupid things.

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              July 15, 2011 3:32 PM

              Why is Gamestop the vulture again? Their pricing does suck, but that's the consumer's problem. Would you feel better if they weren't making so much money on the used games? If they sold the used copy for just a couple bucks more than what they paid for it, do you think people would buy more used games or less?

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                July 15, 2011 4:44 PM

                You know what? Gamestop is going to do what they want. Customers are going to do what they want. Game developers and publishers are going to do what they want.

        • reply
          July 15, 2011 3:27 PM

          So they put up more hoops for first buyers to play - instead of enabling their own resale channel and taking away this position from Gamestop and the likes. Nice.

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            July 15, 2011 3:30 PM

            Well then speak with your dollars and don't buy anymore games that include codes in the box.

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              July 15, 2011 3:34 PM

              Now that's an opinion I can get behind.

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              July 15, 2011 3:41 PM

              or buy them used from gamefly

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              July 16, 2011 7:30 AM

              Oh I'm doing that as often as possible, sometimes its hurting me though :-(

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          July 15, 2011 6:58 PM

          Did you ever think that a part of initial new sales might be the fact that a person knows that he can resell after beating it and recoup 50% or so of the price, making it somewhat of a rental? So they take away used sales I guarantee you they won't sell as much until the game's in the bargain bin. So it will balance itself out. Like someone said, they should instead worry about making great games like Valve/Blizzard and money will come.

          People sell used shit all the time, it's part of every product.

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            July 15, 2011 8:37 PM

            You can still resell the game. No one is taking away used sales. What are you even talking about? If it was my 100 million dollars and I could wave a magic wand and I could gamble on all sales are new, and no used sales VS there are new sales, and some used sales thus snagging some new sales from people intending to resell but losing some new sales for those who end up buying it used because they can, I would bet the 100 million on new sales only.

            I doubt very much these codes that come with new copies will impact new sales much. Have you ever noticed how many suckers here on shack pre order games for NO REASON? Either people are going to buy it new or used, either way money is changing hands. I doubt very much many gamers are going to take their ball and go home and stop spending money on games. Seems like a small risk, so its worth experimenting with locking out features of the game on used copies to see if that works out better or not.

            Actually funny info. About half of new sales don't even register the codes that come with the game. Are they not interested? Are they confused?

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              July 15, 2011 10:21 PM

              I've declined to register codes before so that I could sell a "like new" used game.

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              July 16, 2011 4:56 PM

              You can resell the game without code, true, but most places will either not buy a game off you that uses code for features, or they will give you almost nothing for it. Thus coming back to my original point that a certain number of people that buy games cus they know they can recoup half the price will wait until it hits baragain bin or goes on sale and games won't sell as much.

              The only companies getting away with this stuff are best companies int he world, like Blizzard and Valve. But then, their stuff is worth every penny and even then when it comes to valve stuff a lot of people still wait for sale.

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      July 15, 2011 2:35 PM

      So let me get this straight. If someone buys a used game, they can't play any multiplayer portion of it unless they fork out an additional $10 to Ubisoft?

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        July 15, 2011 2:40 PM

        Correct. Same thing with a lot of THQ, EA, and I think activision is jumping on this now with some games.

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        July 15, 2011 3:35 PM

        usually you get a couple days of free online time before you have to buy the pass which i assume is for rentals.

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      July 15, 2011 3:32 PM

      I use Gamefly to obtain my games. I try them out, and if I like them, I buy them from GF. Most of the games I have purchased over the last two years have been due to my enjoyment of the multiplayer game. If these companies are going to give me a grace period to try the multiplayer side, that's great. If not, well then the game goes back to GF and I move onto the next title. Too many good games these days, and if publishers are going to get crazy with this policy, then I'll move on and find something else.

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      July 15, 2011 3:37 PM

      similar to PC gaming going all CD keys to play online like 20 years ago. even with steam it's not like you can get used games or sell your games on that platform. i'm surprised it took this long for it to be implemented for console games but i suppose you needed something like Live or PSN to fully go ahead with this.

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        July 15, 2011 3:40 PM

        they didn't have to because the whole reason we had cdkeys for pc games was to combat piracy,
        not selling the game you own to someone else.

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          July 15, 2011 6:36 PM

          combats both in one swoop either way.

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            July 15, 2011 6:38 PM

            and if you don't think the publishers are worried about people copying their console discs, you're naive. it may not be the primary reasoning behind this but it's part of the picture.

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      July 16, 2011 1:34 PM

      I see multiplayer games dieing out very quickly in the future... and thats exactly what they want so they can shutdown the servers faster.

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        July 17, 2011 8:00 AM

        If you think the servers cost them so much money or even a fraction of what development does, then you need to step back and actually read up on this. Not that I think you know how to do your research, but anyway..

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