AC IVOnline passes found within a new version of a videogame has become a prevalent feature for consumers these past several years. We have pretty much gotten used to the idea of being forced to input codes in order to access mutliplayer modes for a title, but it seems as though Ubisoft has decided to block off certain single-player content for players without these codes.

What started off with EA and it’s online passes, (they have since stopped using them), has been adopted by several different publishing companies, including Ubisoft. With every new copy of a Ubisoft game comes with it a Uplay passport, which is usually only required for online content. But, as discovered by Gameinformer, a certain campaign element is being affected by these ‘passports’.

In Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag, players have the ability to board an enemy ship and add it to your fleet. You can then send these new fleets on missions that, after a specific amount of time, return with money and spoils. The system is similar to AC: Brotherhood’s assassin recruits, but instead you have ships battling it out instead of assassins. However, without activating a Uplay passport players are completely blocked off from accessing the feature.

While these fleet missions have some shallow online integration, with friends having the ability to help you get through these missions faster, they are mostly just a prevalent and albeit, fun single-player side missions for players to experience. This marks the first time a company chose to gate-off single player content through the usage of ‘passports’ or online passes.

While this is just a minor single-player feature it’s still an infuriating business practice. Gameinformer have contacted Ubisoft for more clarification. So keep it posted here for updates on this news story.