It looks like Ubisoft might be joining the War on Second Hand Value initiative by adding its own online pass to certain games, starting with Driver: San Francisco. GamerZines claims the upcoming “Uplay Passport” will work like other online passes that you either get with a brand new copy of a game or buy off Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network.
A simple look on the Uplay website hints at something coming soon. From what I recall, that site actually worked normally when I had to use it last year to link it to Facebook for that Project Legacy game, but it was kind of a mess to navigate.
I don’t know how I feel about this thing. I actually like Uplay itself for what it tries to do, giving players some free extras by making them do things they might do for achievements or trophies anyway. It can be a hassle at times, but it’s an optional feature that doesn’t cost you anything or requires you to use it.
For most games it’s also cheaper to import a new copy from the UK than it is to buy a local second-hand copy over here, so I’ve never had a problem with these online passes from a cost perspective. And as Conrad recently pointed out to me, you can just sell those online passes on eBay or something if you plan to keep your game and don’t care about the online components.
On the other hand, anything that stands between the player and jumping into the fun that they bought the game for gets a big thumbs down from me. We buy these games to play them, not to enter some symbols from a piece of paper. At least give us the option to use our PlayStation Eye, Kinect, or even a webcam to scan in a QR code or something.
Here’s an idea Ubisoft: allow people to purchase a Uplay Passport using the Uplay points they earn in other games.