Nov 6, 2013
There are many different forms of online passes and DRM, but if one thing has been established, they annoy pretty much everyone who’s come across them.
Ubisoft have dropped the Uplay passport from Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, as it locked single player content, causing an outcry of frustrated gamers. Although gamers may have become accustomed to blocked online content, an inability to access single player missions seems ridiculous. And so, Ubisoft have responded, by eliminating the pass from all future titles.
The Uplay pass usually meant that used games needed a pass to get online with, yet that is no longer the case it seems. The service also allowed players to gain points for achievements, which can unlock certain rewards.
“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.”
Publishers are finally learning they cannot do what they want and get away with it – consumer backlash is inevitable and will affect sales.
Some people hold out for a used copy, not being able to afford full RRP prices. With students and teenagers a very keen market for the industry, they cannot afford the £40 a pop.Which may mean they miss out on sales altogether, whether that be from the initial game, or DLC.
As games evolve, so must the way in which companies deal with them. In this case, satisfying consumer demand is a priority, to ensure the game sells well (especially when it has met less-than-brilliant reviews).
Major corporations to have binned online passes include EA and Sony, and it is a good sign that major corporations are taking notice of what the average gamer really wants. With Microsoft turning around their DRM-focussed Xbox One policies, consumer interaction may be on the up, which is increased significantly by internet-savvy fans.
How companies will monetize future titles is questionable, with many different methods being trialled, and are sure to be perfected. Yet it seems that the online pass did not pass the test; and will be laid to rest. It’s safe to say, this is not a sad passing for the public.