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.
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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.
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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