The development of Skull and Bones, the title of Ubisoft’s pirate simulation adventure, appears to be progressing well, and the company has confirmed that the game will mainly focus on multiplayer and co-op features. In addition, the company has reiterated that Skull and Bones will be released sometime in fiscal year 2022 from April 2022. The information confirms previous reports that development had shifted from a single-player story to a live service model.
What does “multiplayer-first” mean for Skull and Bones?
Simply put, Ubisoft seems determined to develop another game-as-a-service title, akin to games like Fortnite, Apex Legends, Destiny 2, and many other popular games of recent years. The game was initially marketed as a premium box title where players could choose between co-op with friends or solo gameplay. In 2020, the company reportedly changed course after several years of development at Ubisoft Singapore, eventually moving into the live-service model. Unlike most live service games, Skull and Bones will apparently have a “living, breathing world” that changes depending on community actions.
Such as VGC reports, Ubisoft CFO Frédérick Duguet stated in a recent earnings call that Skull and Bones was “a promising new IP focused on multiplayer first”, and was “very consistent with our strategy of putting multiplayer competition and co-op at the forefront in a large open world, with a large, attractive fantasy.” Ubisoft last delayed the game in May 2021 and has been able to stick to the release schedule ever since.
That said, the same cannot be said of the game’s developer, Ubisoft Singapore. In August 2021, the studio was brought under the microscope by Singapore’s national employment watchdog after allegations of workplace misconduct surfaced. The investigation was officially closed last month, but around the same time, the game’s associate director also left the company.
In other news, Ubisoft has stated that Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s upcoming Dawn of Ragnarok expansion will be the company’s biggest expansion yet. While Ubisoft’s financial results listed Beyond Good & Evil 2 as in development, other titles like Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time remake were noticeably absent.