Ubisoft has announced plans to drop its Uplay Passport program from all future releases, meaning players will not be required to enter a single-use code to access single-player and multiplayer content locked behind the pass.
In addition, the publisher will be removing the cost of the Uplay Passport for Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, making all content locked behind the program – including the single-player 'Edward’s Fleet' content - accessible to all players at no additional charge.
In a statement provided to Kotaku this evening, Ubisoft said:
"In Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag, 'Edward's Fleet' is an innovative online single player feature that allows players to interact with multiple players on consoles or via the game's companion app. Every new copy of Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag includes the Uplay Passport code needed to unlock this online feature.
"However, we listen to our community and understand that there are concerns over some players' ability to access this feature, so we have decided to eliminate the cost of the Uplay Passport for Black Flag. This ensures that everyone will be able to use the companion app, Edward's Fleet, online multiplayer and available bonus content at no additional cost.
"Also, we will be eliminating the Uplay Passport program from all future Ubisoft games moving forward."
Ubisoft's decision to drop its online pass program follows similar decisions from rival publishers EA, SCE and Codemasters. Earlier this year, all three publishers confirmed that they would be terminating their online pass programs and opening multiplayer features to all users.
EA Sports first introduced Online Pass in 2010, a scheme thought to have been developed to counter revenue lost through second-hand sales.