To anyone who has been paying attention this should not be too much of a surprise but Skull & Bones will not be released this financial year. Ubisoft dropped the news during an investors call, stating that the pirate based multiplayer title will not be available until fiscal year 2022, which starts in April 2022. That means the game should drop between then and March 2023, but Skull & Bones has been the subject of quite a few changes since its initial reveal in 2017.
Skull & Bones is in development at Ubisoft Singapore and the news we are seeing now is almost identical to what happened in 2018. Back in 2018, Ubisoft stated that Skull & Bones was delayed until the next financial year in an earnings call to investors. So, while Ubisoft is targeting next year for the game it is not guaranteed. The last big update for Skull & Bones was back in September 2020 when Ubisoft confirmed the game was still in development.
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. 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 in September explained 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
he 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!