Some new rumors about Ubisoft’s piracy game in development, Skull and Bones, do not paint a hopeful picture for the project.
As reported by Insider Gaming, a source shared some images that are supposedly from Skull and Bones’ latest build. The source also claims that development is not doing well themselves.
In the words of the source, Redditor Desperate_Shock9830:
“after so many delays things are not looking so good, I heard from a friend of a friend that the game might not even be release this year and with every passing month cancellation looks more likely”
What’s stunning from the images shared is not what they show, but rather, what they don’t show. Which is to say, these leaked images do not show any real progress has occurred on Skull and Bones since Ubisoft last showed it.
This ties in to a report by Kotaku about Skull and Bones, which in itself is a few years old. Among other things, it’s reported that Ubisoft is determined to ship Skull and Bones eventually because it’s tied up to a deal that the company made with the Singaporean government.
As it turns out, Ubisoft Singapore received generous subsidies from their government. In return, Ubisoft has to meet certain requirements mandated by Singapore. This includes hiring a certain number of Singaporean citizens for their games. It also involves launching new IPs in a matter of years.
As Kotaku puts it, it’s not that Singapore has a clause that requires Ubisoft to make Skull and Bones. Rather, Ubisoft Singapore is a specialist at making the sailing tech in games that are set in the seas. The same studio implemented this tech on Assassin’s Creed Black Flag. As some of you may already know, Skull and Bones started as DLC for Assassin’s Creed Black Flag, until the project started getting rescoped with every delay.
It seems Ubisoft’s dilemma here is similar to Microsoft’s with Redfall. The employment of a good number of Ubisoft’s developers are tied up to Skull and Bones at this point. Cancelling the project will leave some employees with nothing to do, and it could get them fired.
But if Ubisoft went through with it, a poor release for Skull and Bones could be catastrophic for the company. It would compound the bad situation they find themselves in now, with allegations and lawsuits having led to many key staff leaving the company, and many pet projects in a similar crisis as Skull and Bones.
While we’d like to see Skull and Bones come together and beat the odds to get released in good form, Dead Island 2 style, there is currently no sign that fans can hope for the best.
Skull and Bones was announced to release on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and Windows.