In a new report, several current and former developers on Ubisoft's Skull & Bones have detailed an incredibly troubled development process plagued by a stream of reboots. According to Kotaku, the game was originally meant to be an online multiplayer expansion for Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag before becoming a standalone project. While the game seemed promising when it made its debut at E3 2017, Skull & Bones has seen several delays, with Ubisoft most recently stating that the game will release prior to March 2023. The game has apparently cost Ubisoft $120 million to date, with one developer telling Kotaku the game is "too big to fail."
"If Skull & Bones were at a competitor it would have been killed 10 times already," a former developer told Kotaku.
Apparently, one of the reasons that the game hasn't been cancelled yet might be part of a deal with the government of Singapore. Production on Skull & Bones is being led by Ubisoft Singapore, and three sources told Kotaku that the company has received "generous subsidies" for hiring a certain number of employees at the studio, and it is also required to launch multiple brand-new IPs "in the next few years."
Reports of the game being rebooted multiple times aren't new. The most recent report came last July, but there have been several similar reports prior to that, which lines up with Kotaku's reporting. Kotaku reached out to Ubisoft for comment, and the publisher claimed that "unfounded speculation about the game or decisions being made only works to demoralize the team." Ubisoft also stated that Skull & Bones has just passed alpha.
Time will tell whether or not Skull & Bones will deliver an experience that lives up to the time and effort Ubisoft and its teams have put into the game, but the stream of delays and reboots certainly sounds troubling. Fans of the publisher will have to wait and see, but in the meantime, readers can find all of our previous coverage of the game right here.
Have you been looking forward to Skull & Bones? What do you think of the most recent reports about the game's development? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk about all things gaming!