Ubisoft, a video game publishing company, finally has a release date for Skull and Bones. It is a multiplayer pirate game, and the release for it has been delayed six times in the past.
Ubisoft X Skull and Bones
There has been a lot of controversy surrounding Skull and Bones. The game was revealed at E3 2017 and was expected to be released on last-generation consoles in the fall of 2018. Later on, in 2018, it was postponed to 2019-20 but never released. It was then reportedly rebooted, and then delayed again, first to 2020, then to 2021. Afterwards, it was delayed into 2022-2023, later given a November 8, 2022 release date, then to March 9 of 2023, and then somehow delayed a sixth time to early 2023-2024.
During all that has been going on, we have also learned through reports that the game was being made in an extremely toxic environment at developer Ubisoft Singapore, which has seen three different creative directors leave the company. Throughout development, the game’s direction and scope have changed numerous times, exceeding its budget multiple times. In the beginning, it was set in the Caribbean, then moved to the fantastical Hyperborea, and finally to the Indian Ocean. Its gameplay was redesigned multiple times, focusing on naval exploration and ship-to-ship combat before being scrapped in favor of land-based survival elements inspired by Rust. According to journalist Ethan Gach, the problems were caused by conflicting ideas, management issues, and inconsistent directions. Furthermore, Ubisoft spent more than $120 million on the project.
Even though the game was played by professionals in August and they found it pretty fun, it’s nonetheless concerning how many times it’s been rebooted and moved around amid reports that development is fraught. We can only hope that the seventh release window will prove to be lucky.
Skull and Bones Expected Release Date
In recent developments, Ubisoft has announced that the game will be released on February 13, 2024, for Ubisoft+ subscribers, and February 16, for everyone else. Additionally, a new closed beta will occur between December 15 and 18. The game can be found on PS5, Xbox Series X and S, and PC.
Meanwhile, after E3 2017, Skull and Bones was nominated for the Game Critics Awards’ Best Original Game and Best Online Multiplayer awards. It was nominated for Outstanding Animated Character in an Episode or Real-Time Project at the 21st Visual Effects Society Awards. In the late 17th century, at the height of the historical Golden Age of Piracy, a version of the game was planned for Google Stadia.