It’s no secret that publishers have been looking for ways to counter the loss of revenue to the purchase of pre-owned games. One way they’ve been monetizing pre-owned games is by creating a barrier of entry to the multiplayer sections in the form of online passes. According to Gamerzines, Ubisoft plans to introduce their version of a online pass called Uplay Passport with the release of Driver: San Francisco.
Functioning much like other online passes, players who buy the game brand new will have a one-time access code to unlock online features, while players who buy the game used will have to buy a code via XBL or PSN. The site presumes that Uplay Passport will be extended to all futures titles though Alexandre Breault, Lead Designer of Assassin’s Creed: Revelations denied all knowledge of the system when questioned about it. So for the moment, this is just a rumor until Ubisoft officially corfirms or denies it. It would be no surprise if they do unveil an online pass as it will fall in line with the growing trend.
Update: In a Press Release Ubisoft officially announces Uplay PassPort.
UBISOFT® ANNOUNCES UPLAY PASSPORT
Uplay Passport to Offer Access to Online Features and Exclusive Content
SAN FRANCISCO – July 15, 2011 – Today, Ubisoft revealed Uplay Passport, a new program designed to provide players with access to bonus content, exclusive offers, and online multiplayer play. Uplay Passport is an adjunct to Uplay, an in-game service that offers gamers extra value, including a bevy of rewards and community features, just for playing Ubisoft games. The Uplay Passport program will begin in the coming months and will be included in many of Ubisoft’s popular core games.
In each new copy of a Uplay Passport-enhanced game will be a one-time use registration code that, when redeemed, provides access to Uplay Passport content and features. The code can be found on the insert card inside the game box. Gamers can identify Uplay Passport-enhanced games by looking for the logo on the back of the box.
Customers who’ve acquired a pre-owned game can purchase a new Uplay Passport online for $9.99 and automatically unlock the game’s online content and features. Starting with the upcoming DRIVER® San Francisco release, games featuring the new Uplay Passport will offer gamers exclusive bonus content plus access to online features.