There have been very few updates concerning Ubisoft's pirate game Skull and Bones since it was announced back in 2017. Last year, there was a report that development had been rebooted, which could explain why the game had been delayed so often. And now Ubisoft has revealed that it may still not release for another year or two.
Earlier today, Ubisoft shared its earnings report for the most recent fiscal year, which ended on March 31. While the company has several titles planned for the current fiscal year, including major releases like Far Cry 6 and the next Rainbow Six game (formerly known as Rainbow Six Quarantine), a brief sentence mentions that Skull and Bones is scheduled to release in the next fiscal year. The exact window is from April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023, meaning fans may have to wait another two years.
This makes this the fourth consecutive year that Ubisoft has delayed the game. So far, all that's officially known about Skull and Bones is that it's open-world and that players will take control of a customizable pirate captain to sail across the Indian Ocean in a single-player campaign or take part in PvP naval combat. At one point, it was reported that it would feature live-service elements as well. But given what happened with EA's Anthem, it's always possible that Ubisoft will drop these elements, assuming it planned to incorporate them to begin with.
Ubisoft Singapore is spearheading development, although it is receiving assistance from other Ubisoft studios. What also may have contributed to the delays was the loss of Skull and Bones' director, who was removed from the position back in November. At the time, no exact reason was given but it's believed that it had to do with an investigation into accusations of sexual harassment. This was during a year when Ubisoft was coming under heavy fire for many similar allegations against several of its employees.
There's also the question of whether it's still in development for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It was initially announced for both consoles but, with both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S now available, there's an argument to be made that Ubisoft should skip the last-gen consoles and make it exclusive to the newer consoles.
Fortunately for Ubisoft, it has plenty of games to fill the void until Skull and Bones does release. Aside from the aforementioned Far Cry 6 and next Rainbow Six title, it has sports games like Riders Republic and its newly announced The Division Heartland for mobile, which are all planned to release before March 31, 2022.
Skull and Bones is a game that promises a lot. Coming from Ubisoft, the company behind previous pirate success stories like Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, the upcoming multiplayer pirate game is set in the Golden Age of piracy. Although similar to other pirate titles like Sea Of Thieves, Ubisoft's title boasts a few important differences. First, it seems to focus more on persistent RPG mechanics, and it also seems that factions will play a more important role in the oversea adventure. Of course, the title will also adopt a more realistic, high-fidelity art direction. These elements all place it in direct contrast to Rare's more cartoony entry into the genre.
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