The other day, I finally unwrapped and prepared to load the copy of Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag, that I got for Christmas. I’ve never been a great fan of AC, but I must admit the idea of commanding a pirate ship has quite grabbed me. Apparently though, I’m not destined to be a pirate captain, at least for a while yet, because I when I loaded the game and was asked to enter the activation key, which I dutifully did. I was rewarded with the message “Activation key in use by another account. Please contact Ubisoft Support”. Frankly, I was flabbergasted. I havent encountered this before, the game was guaranteed brand-new, it was shrink-wrapped, for God’s sake. I tried it again, just to make sure I hadnt entered it incorrectly. And again. No joy. Now quite annoyed, I jumped onto Ubisoft’s Support page and tried to send a message via their email form page, only for it to not go anywhere when I hit the send button. Banging repeatedly on the send button produced no result whatever. Annoyance turned to anger as I contemplated the last option, ringing the Ubisoft Support line, which the leaflet in the case informed me helpfully was available between 2 and 8pm Monday to Friday. Of course, it was a Saturday. Luckily, at that moment, I dimly recalled that at some stage in the installment process I had fleetingly noticed a message to the effect that Google Chrome was the preferred browser, and it suddenly occurred to me that I had been attempting to send my message via IE. Maybe that was the problem. So I tried again in Chrome, and hey, presto, it worked like a charm. I duly received a reply from Ubisoft, quite promptly actually, to give them due credit, asking me to send them a screen capture of the activation key screen and message (no problem), and also proof of purchase (big problem, this is a Christmas present after all). So currently I’m chasing the donor of the gift to see if they kept the receipt. Then, maybe, if they still have it and I can send it, Ubisoft can provide me with some solution to this conundrum – an activation code in a shrink-wrapped game that somehow apparently been used before. The gaming equivalent of the locked room mystery. Hope you’re as intrigued as I am.