Set to expand on the popularity of the naval battles of Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag, Skull and Bones has instead become a major burden as it remains stuck in development hell. Originally revealed at E3 2017, Skull and Bones is the first lead project for Ubisoft Singapore. The game was originally intended to be a live service game, where players could customize their ships while engaging in multiplayer battles with other players.
However, Skull and Bones has seen numerous delays, eventually pushing it from its original 2018 release date to now sometime between April 2022 and March 2023. Development at Ubisoft Singapore has been turbulent at best, with reports indicating management issues, lack of direction, budget issues, and an internal investigation regarding allegations of discrimination and misconduct. Employee turnover has also been an issue with consistency as the project has seen plenty of leaders leaving for different opportunities.
The latest Ubisoft Singapore employee to leave the troubled project is Skull and Bones co-director Antoine Henry. In a new post on his LinkedIn profile, Henry confirmed that after 15 years at Ubisoft, he was leaving for new and “exciting adventures” in 2022. Henry didn’t say why he was leaving, only that he was thankful for the people he met and that he hopes he was able to give back in some capacity. Unfortunately, Henry’s departure is another setback for a game that has seen far too many over the years.
With Ubisoft unwilling to comment on Skull and Bones, it’s unknown if the open world pirate game will even meet its current timeline. Back in 2020, it was reported that Skull and Bones was being completely rebooted, scrapping years of work in favor of a new direction. At that time, creative director Elisabeth Pellen confirmed that Skull and Bone‘s production was moving forward under a new vision. While it was also expected that Ubisoft would show more later that year, the game again went dark leaving the community again wodnering what was going on.
It’s still unknown what kind of game Skull and Bones is currently, though recent rumors have attempted to shed some light on what fans should expect. Following recent development reboots back in 2020, industry insider Tom Henderson indicated that players will have five different sized ships they can build after purchasing blueprints at different settlements and collecting enough resources. Progression is made through money earned via jobs, cargo runs, and raids, with an open sea to explore set in the Indian Ocean and land based locations like Madagascar and the African Coast.
Skull and Bones is in development.