Ubisoft introducing online pass with Driver: SF?

New report suggests French publisher bundling Uplay Passport with new copies of upcoming racing game; following trail blazed by EA, THQ, Warner Bros., and Sony.

Source: United Kingdom-based gaming site Gamerzines.

What we heard: Last May, Electronic Arts introduced its Online Pass initiative, which gates off online multiplayer modes behind a $10 pay wall for those who do not buy their software new. Shortly thereafter, Ubisoft said that it would "probably" adopt a similar model for its own games sometime in the future, and it appears that future isn't too far off.

According to Gamerzines' report, Ubisoft will introduce the online pass program with upcoming racing game Driver: San Francisco, which is due out next month. The report suggests that the Passport will work similarly to its publishing rival's, in that it will restrict some or all online gameplay to owners of new copies.

It sounds like there will be a toll to pay in Driver: San Francisco.

Players who rent or purchase a secondhand copy of Driver: San Francisco will need to pay a fee to purchase the Passport. The report did not offer a price for the Uplay Passport.

The online passes used by EA, Sony, THQ, and Warner Bros. are seen as an effort to make buying games new more attractive than buying them used (a sale that puts no money in the publisher's pocket). Typically, secondhand users must pay a nominal fee ($10) to access all the features new purchasers receive with online pass-enabled games.

The official story: As of press time, Ubisoft had not responded to GameSpot's request for comment or clarification.

Bogus or not bogus?: Looking not bogus. With the high adoption rate of online pass programs by big-name publishers like the aforementioned EA, Sony, and THQ, it would not be far-fetched for Ubisoft to follow suit.

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Discussion

123 comments
meke186
meke186

this game looks Awesome. i had all the dlc for burnout paradise and had about 100 hours of gameplay on it. And obviously after that much. I stopped playing, with still the lingering thought, when was EA going to make the next burnout. And they still haven't announced it. i think this game will be my replacement. its the coolest concept ever. You can have every car you want in an accurate map of SF and the online is awesome

servb0ts
servb0ts

from DLC to Online Pass, what's next developers, pay per button pressed?

KaizerJinn
KaizerJinn

WoW! 8O this game seems INTENSE! xD

KaizerJinn
KaizerJinn

.....interesting idea. xD i'm hardly effected because i never like getting used games unless gamestop is doing some sale of buy 2 get 1 for free.... i seem to always get scretched discs... :\ games i really want, i would buy new anyways....i also don't like trading in games. still have all my games. xD

Oggy1985
Oggy1985

They figured a way how to suck money from people who try to save some buck by buying second hand games.

sammoth
sammoth

Hey do I get to return the software when it's littered with bugs.

sammoth
sammoth

Here is an idea for the companies doing this. Make a better game so it doesn't fail in 3 weeks after release. Nobody trades it in, and we all win. Anyone who supports this is doesn't understand the impact of this long term. What they are saying is you rented our "game". You no longer can trade/lend/sell the copy of the game you paid full price for. You can do the above with some features disabled though. So it's like buying a used car that won't drive in reverse without paying the manufacturer a fee to enable it.

Mitridon
Mitridon

When the going gets tough, the hackers and crackers get going! XD.

BATTLE123HAWK
BATTLE123HAWK

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Peter23CU
Peter23CU

I'm sick and tied of hearing this crap, the Game Developer & Publisher are always wanting to make more money all the time and this is a way of getting more money. Isn't it about time they make more cooler, better games where's the fun never stops. I have great ideas for games and ways of making more money without complaining about use games and lost of money. With my game ideas they won't be re-selling them, they will be keeping them. Why? (I'm not saying until a Game Developer & Publisher takes me on).

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

When it comes to the Pre-Owned games market, there can only be 1 real winner, and it sure as hell isnt the Developer, Publisher or even the Gamer!

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

education
education

With a game like this, people will play thru the campaign and then check out the MP briefly and then either retire the game to some shelf or trade it in. So in reality if anyone actually buys a used copy a couple months down the road.... or years... the online component of the game will not exist and this pass u complained about buying will get you no use.

monson21502
monson21502

devs are getting outta hand now..... i remember back in the day if we bought a game and it sucked we could take it back and get our money back... well the devs pissed and moaned about that.. then we could only get the same crappy game if the seal was opened.... now today they are starting this bull... all they have to do is make good games and we will buy them.... we aint gonna pay 60 bucks for a game thats buggy as hell or has bad controls or a short single player ect ect we want our moneis worth...any fool should understand that.. but these big headed gaming devs just dont wanna hear our end of the story

Carc
Carc

People talk about greed on behalf of Ubisoft, but what about the retail store making $30/$40/$50 of pure profit off of that used game sale? Where none of that money goes to the developer; the people who made the product in the first place. And if a used game with an online pass re-sells several times over and sells an online pass each time, yes it's making a profit for the publisher, but don't forget that it's also making a profit for the retail store. Which once again isn't going in any part to the developer. Retail stores make incredible amounts of money from used game sales because consumers are willing to sell them games for pennies and buy them back at tremendous mark-ups. Piracy is wrong because the developer never sees money from that "copy" of the game. But that's really no different from what happens with used game sales. Would you be happy if someone else profited off of your hard work?

yboucher
yboucher

@tachsniper : that's a ridiculous assumption. Firstly, this kind of thing is part of the publishing deal, so you just can't assume developers will see jacksquat at all. It depends on how the deal is made. Then, obviously in-house developers WILL be seeing the money for sure. (which is the case right here).

ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

I'll just but it "new", when its 6 months old and the price has dropped to $30 or less. Then you can still have your cake and eat it, too --- without paying some stupid online pass fee. The publishers are all turning into greedy bastards.

tachsniper
tachsniper

@yboucher and you fail to understand the developers will see jack squat of this money, the publishers will however so however you may think this is going to help developers it simply is not.

varunvikram1
varunvikram1

I wish i had the right to ban stuff like this

yboucher
yboucher

@tachsniper: what you need to look at, is how risky developing a AAA game is. For every hit, there's at least 10 failures. Would you like to check the break down of where all that profit goes and then get back to me ? Ubisoft is currently in the red. and has been for the last 2 years, despite selling a heck of a lot of products. (and funny enough, what's keeping it afloat is the casual stuff). You can't just give me ONE number as justification. Just like the fact that say, the iPhone App Store generating millions and millions of dollars as a whole doesn't mean any single developer is making much money at all.

woodyfr
woodyfr

Pass me your money, the boss needs a new plane. And don't forget to buy our 34 DLC even if they are already on the disc !

josiah4972
josiah4972

screw you ubisoft, neither you or EA will get any of my hard earned money instead of using all your time to find new ways to milk gamers how about you make a decent game?

Nightrain50
Nightrain50

I buy my games new for $30 or less, this is just another reason to do so. Online passes are bs.

fadersdream
fadersdream

And now I won't buy a game I didn't really want in the first place. Not even if it's new and cheap... this turns me off. I almost understand it from a game that's great, but from a franchise that has struggled to make a decent product for so long to take such a step is pointless.

atopp399
atopp399

Speak with your wallets. If you do not agree with this do not buy it. This only hurts the consumer since Gamestop will simply buy the games back for even less than they already do.

SaintForHire
SaintForHire

To be fair, I understand where Ubisoft comes from, since secondhand purchases make them zero money, since that copy was already purchased. Gotta do what you gotta do to keep the lights on. But, it still sucks. Even though I buy my games new, I know a lot of people that buy them used, and I know they don't like this already.

Histesticles
Histesticles

I think the next big launch, all gamers everywhere should boycott that title if it has an online pass attached to it util the publisher agrees to remove it. We are the consumers, we have to power to direct the market by not giving them our money. They project earnings for the year and it's a big deal if they fall short. If no one bought Battlefield 3 EA would go nuts.

Cloud737
Cloud737

Sigh... and the snowball rolls and rolls, getting bigger as it goes down the mountain. This is why I was afraid of when I first heard EA introducing it (and gamers cheering it in a sort of dystopian fantasy; "how could you play and NOT pay?"... well, hope you enjoy what you asked for). I think the games industry has gotten way too big for our own good, it might be in need of a terrible recession to get it's feet back on the ground. First it was the StarForce DRM, then the permanently-online DRM and now the online pass. I guess this makes piracy all the more appealing. Either way, I don't care since I don't really play online (multiplayer is overrated IMO).

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

So that's EA, Sony and Ubi now? Ahhhh we're buggered.. gaming as a whole is buggered. I just want to know how all this going to effect businesses that rely on trade-ins and 2nd hand games :/

Lazerith91
Lazerith91

I love EA's games but I hate the whole online pass thing. Most used games sell for about 10$ less than new and some sell for 9-8$ less so if you want online playability it pretty much costs the same if not more to buy it used now...

anthonycg
anthonycg

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gobbo00
gobbo00

Game activation keys will be next on the list, a console will just be a lite version of a PC. Rumors are saying that the next Xbox will run a OS. Less and less is made about what games a console has, but rather services it provides. Used games fuel new game sales, I read that some "industry insider" who posted on CVG. Say's the online pass is there due to the cost of running the servers! What servers? most console games run p2p they run matchmaking servers. They cost nothing, if Microsoft can run matchmaking servers as part of a XBL sub. At what £40 a year for every game bar EA games. How much must it cost to run matchmaking for a PS3 title? You even read about you buy a licence, what where did I sign to say I purchased a contract? If that's the case than the game you have just got from the shop is worthless!

anthonycg
anthonycg

Welcome to my Blacklist Ubisoft. You and EA Sports will get along just fine.

eddieham13
eddieham13

meh I always buy my games new.. doesn't affect me.

steveguttenberg
steveguttenberg

C'mon, everyone, let's donate money to Ubisoft's Paypal account. Whatever you can spare. "Give a Little to a Big Starving Corporation," we'll call it. If they receive enough donations, maybe they'll be able to get back on their feet and concentrate on selling games the honest way.

azizex6666
azizex6666

Ubisoft has always been a greedy company and on a second note well known for their draconian DRM softwares.

alexLmx6
alexLmx6

@muzza93 - Not to mention that used game sales add to the profits of retailers, which then allows them to open new stores, giving publishers a broader distribution network which can reach more people and create more sales. Used sales, rentals, etc are also a great way for publishers to get people playing a game they never would've otherwise, and if they play their cards right, they can get a new fan who will buy the game new on day one. It's just bad business. People see this as an attack on the consumers' pocketbook, nothing more, and why publishers aren't seeing this is just beyond me.

mer1in79
mer1in79

@ssd again good point i never thought about you not being able to take your game round a friends and then not being able to play it online despite paying full price they really need to re-think this.or just take two pass codes(see below comment)p.s it was a joke plus illegal theft is theft there disclaimer covered.

mer1in79
mer1in79

simple solution buy the second hand game and take the pass code out of the full price one on the shelf works for me.

slippship
slippship

I choose to believe that we should all help developers make better games, I will not be swayed by these not very clever arguments. If you want to use an online element of a game you should pay towards it, when you buy pre-owned. And all this talk of selling a car on is a bit moronic and irrelevant, since when did Ford care about a car after it's sold? What relation has that got to maintaining an online server for a game?

theoardo55
theoardo55

it seems many game studio have lack of money to run some servers for their games right now.

gamingfrendly
gamingfrendly

this is geting so anoying and its going to expand in the up coming games.

thebeachguy90
thebeachguy90

See what did I say? And Xbox users were bashing PS3 for the online pass program when gaming was already going this direction anyways.

Lost-Memory
Lost-Memory

Wow. Greedy little punks. Everyday I hate the video game industry just so much more.... Don't you think they already charge enough ? you know, 60 dollars per game (Console) and then a fee to play online (Xbox live) and now you have to pay an extra 10 dollars to buy a used game ? COME ON !!!! This is turning into a bigger milk job than ANYTHING I'VE EVER SEEN !!!!!

ssdd_again
ssdd_again

I was probably gonna buy new anyway but this 'online pass' revolution isnt the way to go. Milking people with DLC content is bad enough, although Ubisoft have included it in the game from the word go on this one:). I mean its going to murder the rental market, kill off going round your mates to show off a new game and obviously put a big dent in the amount of people online:(. Not to mention piss people off to the point where they just flat out refuse to purchase ANY of your 'software'.

Lost-Memory
Lost-Memory

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tachsniper
tachsniper

@PureDarkness17 and how do you estimate that they are owed this money? money from a second hand sale. if you buy a lawn mower at a garage sale do you feel that John Deere is somehow owed money? and by the way all this money is going to publishers. the developers won't see a dime beyond their contract don't delude yourself.

PureDarkness17
PureDarkness17

I love the online pass ideas, give the developers the extra money they are owed.

pakhair
pakhair

I'm not gonna buy it Ubisoft. I haven't purchased a single game (NEW) with this online pass stupid phenomenon introduced by developers. It's purely milking and backstabbing. Give me a free DLC and do not cut or restrict the content for what one has already payed for. I'm one of those who has big friends cycle + I've account on few trading sites too, so it hurts + the resale of that game goes down the sewer from 50-60% I only get 30-40% of it's original value. I don't want this second market sales bull****. It's been happening since ages and no one needs to report, we own something it's our property to sale, simply devs are becoming hungrier. If someone talks about fair, do you think these developers every game is fair, every year same sports or terrible games. Let's stop, I'm sure this game won't have good sales because if you follow this online pass phenomenon games, only 2 have been hit so far Homefront and Mortal Kombat all other were either average, flop or sold way less copies then it's predecessors e.g. WWE SVR 11, Dirt 3, NFS Shift 2 and hot pursuit e.t.c Oh and final note I'm sure this thing won't stop and it might even grow as long as consumer's supporting it, we will see more and more companies adopting to the formula