In an effort to discourage pre-owned sales, Ubisoft will be introducing the Uplay Passport when Driver San Francisco hits store shelves at the end of next month. The pass will only be included in new copies of the game, meaning if the game is traded in, the exclusive pass won't translate over to a second owner, who in order to access the online component will be forced to purchase a separate Uplay Pass via Xbox LIVE or Playstation Network.
Ubisoft is following in EA's footsteps here, mimicking their initiative where gamers picking up used copies of their games were forced to purchase a ten dollar pass to access the online features. Dubbed Project 10$, it appears Ubisoft will be following a similar model, although no Uplay Pass pricing has been announced as of yet.
Strangely enough, the lead designer on Ubisoft's upcoming medieval action-adventurer, Assassins Creed Revelations, admit he knew nothing of the Uplay Pass initiative until it was announced today. Alexandre Breault told Gamerzines he was "not aware of it", suggesting Ubisoft had been stalling over an actual decision on the model.
We can understand why publishers would want to stem the flow of pre-order sales, considering they receive no revenue whatsoever from a copy of their game picked up off the pre-owned shelf. However, the used games market has been a vital part of the industry for years now, and the confusion many gamers are set to face when they pick up a used copy of Driver San Francisco or Ghost Recon Future Soldier and find they can't play online will most likely either endanger the Ubisoft brand or turn potential customers to rival publishers. [Gamerzines]