UbiSoft has received quite a lot of heat from their “UPlay” DRM system that’s been in use for several years on the console and PC. This system, which does provide some meager rewards to users who register for the site, is basically a secondary online authentication system for UbiSoft’s games.
Assassin’s Creed 4 uses this system, and UbiSoft locked some single-player content behind an “Online Pass” tied to it, which people who bought the game used would have to pay extra for. Prior to the release of the game, UbiSoft realized how bad it would look to lock single-player content behind a paywall, so they made the “Online Pass” (or UPlay Passport in this case) free.
However, a bug in the UPlay system itself is locking PlayStation 4 users out of this single-player content, even if they already redeemed their UPlay Passport code.
According to users experiencing the issue, and cross-references with those not having the problem, it all comes down to the expanded PSN friends list. In the previous generation, PS3 and Vita users were limited to 100 PSN friends. With the arrival of the PS4, you can now have up to 2,000 people on your PSN friends list. This is where the bug in UPlay is locking people out of single-player AC4 content.
Since the “fleets” feature of the single-player mode of Assassin’s Creed 4 requires you to login to the UPlay servers, people with more than 99 PSN friends cannot currently access this feature as they cannot connect to UPlay on their systems. Players with fewer than 99 friends can connect normally and use every feature of the game they paid $60 for.
Update: We’ve learned that this issue is also affecting the Xbox One as well.
As of this time, Tweets to UbiSoft’s official UPlay account only result with them telling you to contact support. If you contact support, you don’t get any resolution, as this is a bug in the software and servers and not something a $10-an-hour temp working the phones can fix for you…