Responding to Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag customers that were disgruntled about single-player elements of the game being paygated, Ubisoft has completely abandoned the controversial Uplay Passport program, and opened up the previously locked content for free. A blog post
explains the about-face thusly:
Gamers currently without a Uplay Passport for Black Flag will be able to download one for free from Xbox Live or PlayStation Network. For those who have already purchased Uplay Passport for Black Flag, please contact your regional Ubisoft support.
What’s more, Uplay Passport will not be a part of any future Ubisoft games.
The Uplay Passport program was initiated as a means of giving customers full access and support for online multiplayer and features, along with exclusive content, bonuses and rewards. However, games today are blurring the line between offline and online, between what is “single player” and what is “multiplayer.” Based on that and on the feedback we received from you, we recognized that Passport is no longer the best approach for ensuring that all our customers have the best possible experience with all facets of our games.
The sweet taste of consumer victory. Kudos to Ubisoft for listening.