In his lecture of the E3 2017, Ubisoft surprised by introducing a new multiplayer online of naval battles with pirate aesthetics: it was about Skull & Bones, a game heavily inspired by the fighting between ships in the open sea introduced for the first time in Assassin’s Creed III but whose formula was refined in Assassin’s Creed IV: Back Flag.
Its original release date was scheduled by the end of 2018 on PS4, Xbox One and PC, although obviously that did not happen: the project has not only been delayed several times, but there is also talk of several reboots of its development, not officially confirmed by Ubisoft Singapore, responsible for its creation, which would have postponed its premiere for almost three years with respect to the planned initial date. But, what is your current state? When will it be launched Skull & Bones?
Announcement at E3 2017, first trailer and surprising reception
Ubisoft seemed very clear about what it wanted to achieve with Skull & Bones: an extension of the naval battle mechanics of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag multiplayer oriented in a title standalone, unrelated to the franchise Assassin’s Creed, and with your own single player campaign in which we see well-known pirates and other memorable historical characters. The company was surprised by the “unprecedented support” that the community had shown for this project, according to Yves Guillemot, CEO of Ubisoft.
That s, for those responsible Skull & Bones It was just the tip of the iceberg, the first rung of a franchise “long-haul” that could remain active for 10-15 years thanks to its “strong mechanics, role and online component”, as explained Olive tree of Rotalier, one of Ubisoft Singapore’s top creatives, in 2017, long before he knew the road ahead for the project.
First delay and announcement of his television series
During the early stages of development, nothing foreshadowed that Skull & Bones was going to become one of those damn games that end up lengthening its development Eternal: they gave details of its single player campaign, there was talk of the integration of button boxes and even new sequences of its gameplay were shown. However, in May 2018 the first jug of cold water arrived: Skull & Bones see delayed release to next Ubisoft fiscal year, which meant it was targeting somewhere between April 2019 and March 2020.
In the video game industry we are used to delays, which is why we were not so surprised that Skull & Bones missed your first calendar release date on time. Nothing was happening: Ubisoft took the game to E3 2018 and showed new gameplay at his lecture, and later, after several months without news, a television series was announced in collaboration with Atlas Entertainment. From that moment it was when we began to lose sight of the project and to intuit that perhaps it was not progressing as expected.
Second delay and alleged resumes of development
It was in May 2019 when Ubisoft announced the second delay from Skull & Bones, this time sine die, further confirming that he would not be present at E3 that year: “You can be sure that we are working as hard as ever to make sure that the game is the best possible, and quality is still our main objective,” he explained. Karl von der Luhe, producer of the game, while ensuring that Ubisoft continued to support the project.
Until then, Ubisoft’s official statements focused on making it clear that Skull & Bones was progressing well and that they were simply trying to give the team all the time necessary to make the best possible game, however in February of last year the hare jumped: Jason Schreier, at that time a journalist from Kotaku, revealed that the game will have restarted its development several times since its announcement in 2017 and that there is still time for us to see it on the market.
Ubisoft Singapore CEO departure and third delay
This information was never confirmed or denied by Ubisoft at that time, when insist that the development of Skull & Bones it was progressing “very well”, according to Yves Guillemot himself. However, at the end of last year we learned that Hugues Ricour, Head of Ubisoft Singapore, left his post in the studio in charge of this game but without leaving the company. A head spin that came as a result of “a leadership audit” that anonymous sources linked to the multiple allegations of sexual harassment at Ubisoft that came to light last summer.
After Ricour’s departure, it was obvious to imagine what would happen next: another delay. For the third time in a row in less than four years, the launch of Skull & Bones, which with this -for the moment- last delay will not be released until 2022 2023. “Production directed by Ubisoft [Singapur] it has come a long way over the last 12 months and the promise is better than ever. The additional time will allow the team to fully fulfill its vision, “the company said at its last financial meeting.
That’s the official version, but what do the insiders? An anonymous source revealed that the company will have restarted the development of Skull & Bones again, a new reset from scratch that was reported in May 2021, just a couple of months ago, but which had occurred well before. That person claimed that the game now looks much more similar to that of Sea of Thieves, with segments in the first and third person, something that we cannot know because we have not seen new images of the game since 2018.
So when will Skull & Bones? At the moment there is little new information that we handle regarding this game and Ubisoft hasn’t even mentioned it in their E3 2021 conference. Your official Twitter account It has not been active since September 2020, when “a total change in creative vision” was announced, although before that they had not published anything since May 2019. If all the information fits, Skull & Bones could be launched between 2022 and 2023 with a completely different formula than what we saw at E3 2017.