As fast as Online Passes blazed onto the scene, it seems we are seeing a welcome trend with them being phased out just as quickly by some publishers. Surprisingly, EA was at the forefront of this reversal, announcing back in May that their future titles would no longer require an online pass. They even went so far as to make the online passes for some older titles free.

With the release of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, publisher Ubisoft included a game mode called "Edward's Fleet", an "innovative online feature that allows a single player to interact with multiple players on consoles or via the game’s companion app." In order to access the game mode, you would need to activate Ubisoft's version of an Online Pass - the Uplay Passport - that comes free with every new copy of the game. Like other Online Passes, buying used or buying a single copy that was shared between multiple individuals meant that you would have to pay an additional fee for this feature.

Ubisoft has listened to concerns over the additional cost that would be incurred by people in those situations and has decided to eliminate the need for the Uplay Passport in Assassin's Creed IV. They further stated that "Uplay Passport will not be a part of any future Ubisoft games."

The Uplay Passport for Assassin's Creed IV will be available to download for free next week. There is no word as to whether Ubisoft will start releasing old Uplay passports for free as well, but if that should happen, we'll be sure to pass that information along.