Skull and Bones already has a long history of suffering behind it and has now been postponed for the 6th time. We’ll now tell you why, what Ubisoft has to say about it, what problems Skull and Bones has in general, and which pirate game could possibly be an alternative.
What it’s about: In a statement, Ubisoft has announced that Skull and Bones will be postponed again and that three unannounced titles have been cancelled. We explain why this might be, what the problem with Skull and Bones is in general, and which alternative might be released this year.
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Skull and Bones postponed again – What Ubisoft says about it
Skull and Bones has not had an easy story so far. The game was supposed to be released in 2019. At that time, the gameplay was completely different. It was about multiplayer battles, where you compete against each other in teams. We even played Skull and Bones in its original version at gamescom 2019. But even then, it was hardly fun.
However, later the complete gameplay was thrown over and it became quiet around Skull and Bones for a long time. Then in July 2022 there was a big online event and gameplay from the “new” Skull and Bones was shown. Suddenly it was said that Skull and Bones would be released on November 08, 2022. Shortly after, this date was moved to March 2023. Now Skull and Bones has been postponed again.
When will Skull and Bones be released? Officially, it is said that Skull and Bones will be released “early 2023/24”. But what does that mean? In principle, anything from April 2023 to March 2024 is possible. No specific date and not even a targeted month, let alone a quarter, have been mentioned. To us, that sounds a lot like an “indefinitely postponed”.
Statement from Ubisoft: According to Ubisoft, the reason for the postponement is that they want to offer a more polished and balanced experience and increase awareness of the game. CEO Yves Guillemot also says that they are disappointed with the current performance. Ubisoft is additionally facing market dynamics that are moving further and further towards mega-brands. So in general, things aren’t exactly going well at Ubisoft. Three more previously unannounced titles have been scrapped and Ubisoft is apparently focusing on the big brands again with Avatar, Assassin’s Creed and the new Star Wars game.
This is the Problem of Skull and Bones
But maybe the postponement of Skull and Bones isn’t such a bad thing. Everything we’ve seen about the pirate game so far hasn’t exactly blown us away. If we look at the beginnings and the first playable gameplay at gamescom 2019, then the game simply wasn’t any fun back then.
With the big gameplay reveal at Ubisoft Forward in July 2022, everything was supposed to change. To be honest, the gameplay didn’t look bad at first glance either. After all, Ubisoft knows its way around pirate games thanks to Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Sea of Thieves.
However, if you take a closer look, you will notice many things that are no longer up to date, especially in terms of gameplay. The almost 7-minute gameplay is cut in such a way that the problems are hardly noticeable. But they are there.
For example, you can’t leave the wheel on the open sea and run over your ship, as was possible in AC Black Flag 10 years ago. You also don’t collect resources manually, but sail along the shore and collect wood or other resources through obtuse mini-games. You can also only go ashore at certain points to explore outposts or villages.
Some of this was already implemented so well in AC Black Flag or Sea of Thieves. There, you as the player can explore the entire world and visit every island, no matter how small. In Skull and Bones you stand on the shore and press a button at the right moment to collect wood. No base-building, no big shore excursions, except for the outposts and villages, no innovative gameplay to collect resources.
This quickly makes it clear that although Skull and Bones looks quite good visually and especially the different ship types and the improvements aren’t bad either, the gameplay around this core doesn’t sound much fun. Just because you can improve your ships and customize them visually doesn’t make a good game.
Pirate’s Dynasty as an Alternative for Skull and Bones
But was that it for the pirate era in video games? Not quite yet. If you don’t feel like waiting for Skull and Bones to come out, if it ever does, we have an insider tip for you. Pirate’s Dynasty will be released in Q3 2023 and brings a lot of features that you currently miss in Skull and Bones and that belong in a good pirate game.
Build a pirate empire on tropical islands together with your friends and fight with your ship on the high seas. Of course, the game doesn’t look as good as a AAA title from Ubisoft. But the current feature material is convincing and could be a real insider’s tip in the fall, if you feel like pirates, saber swinging and battles on the high seas.