Ubisoft say Skull & Bones is still in development “with a new vision”, won’t be in Ubisoft Forward stream

What has happened to Skull & Bones, Ubisoft Singapore’s piratical multiplayer game? Well, unfortunately for those who thought it looked a bit of alright, the bad news is that it’s still deep in development as the studio pivot the game to follow “a new vision.” For this reason, it definitely will not be a part of tonight’s Ubisoft Forward stream, and will instead have to await some kind of re-reveal in 2021.

The game was revealed at E3 2017 and was described as “naval combat is taken to the next level”, but has been delayed multiple times, most recently in May. That original vision pitched a shared systemic world, where you can sail with other players or execute betrayals. There was a 5v5 mode called The Loot Hunt, and you can disguise your ship to evade detection. Each ship has a special abilities such as siege mode which has no limits on cannon fire when the vessel is anchored. If you’re facing a powerful foe you can invite other players in to the battle to even the odds.

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The game could obviously be very different now, with a recent report suggesting that it’s been pivoted to a live service game. Ubisoft’s statement explains that it was “necessary to have some fresh eyes join the team”, which happened two years ago, and that it’s expanded to be a global effort including the Ubisoft studios in Berlin, Chengdu, Kiev, Paris and the Philippines

As Skull & Bones evolved from its original idea to what it is now, it was also necessary to have some fresh eyes join the team. I was one of those people when I joined as Skull & Bones’ creative director a little over two years ago. I have been part of the game’s core team that leads many of the talented developers at Ubisoft Singapore. Since then, many new talents have joined our global crew.

Skull & Bones was set to launch on Xbox One, PS4, and PC, but given the rather long delay, we can expect that it will also now be targeting PS5 and Xbox Series X. The numerous delays and adjusted development hasn’t stopped Ubisoft from forging ahead with its multimedia plans for the setting, a Skull & Bones TV show is in the works with Atlas Entertainment for a female-led adventure in the 1700s.

Here’s the full statement from Creative Director Elisabeth Pellen:

First and foremost, thank you to our fans for showing tremendous patience. We know you’ve been waiting for news, so I’m thrilled to confirm this: production on Skull & Bones has been in full swing with a new vision. Our teams at Ubisoft Singapore are fully committed to launching the game, as well as supporting it for many years to come. While our game won’t be present at Ubisoft Forward on September 10, we’re currently working on plans to present Skull & Bones sometime in the future. It will be worth the wait.

Many of you have been wondering why we’ve had to postpone our launch. The answer is that we simply needed more time. We dreamt something bigger for Skull & Bones, and these ambitions naturally came with bigger challenges.

These difficulties resulted in necessary delays for our game. Critical questions needed to be addressed over the past several months such as: how do we modernize the classic pirate fantasy? How do we ensure a more immersive and visceral experience? How do we create cool and memorable moments in-game? For most of these questions to be answered, it was clear that we needed more development time.

As Skull & Bones evolved from its original idea to what it is now, it was also necessary to have some fresh eyes join the team. I was one of those people when I joined as Skull & Bones’ creative director a little over two years ago. I have been part of the game’s core team that leads many of the talented developers at Ubisoft Singapore. Since then, many new talents have joined our global crew.

From our teams in Ubisoft Berlin, Chengdu, Kiev, Paris and the Philippines, it is truly a team effort. The dedication and passion of our developers continue to fuel our drive to make Skull & Bones something all of us can be proud of. Our confidence in each other’s talents is what motivates us to push Skull & Bones towards the finish line and beyond.

We’re proud of the work we’ve done and we hope you will be too when you see more of Skull & Bones at our comeback next year. Until then, on behalf of everyone in the Skull & Bones team around the world, keep safe and we will see you again soon!

Source: Ubisoft

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