Development on Ubisoft’s pirate simulation adventure title Skull and Bones seem to be going swimmingly, and the company has confirmed that the game will be primarily focused on multiplayer and co-op features. Furthermore, the company has reiterated that Skull and Bones are set to release sometime within the 2022 fiscal year starting in April 2022. The information confirms previous reports that development had shifted from a single-player narrative to a live service model.
What does ‘multiplayer-first’ mean for Skull and Bones?
Put simply, Ubisoft seems set on developing another games-as-a-service title similar to games like Fortnite, Apex Legends, Destiny 2, and many other popular games from recent years. The game was initially marketed as a premium box title where players could choose between co-op with friends or solo gameplay. Back in 2020, the company reportedly changed course after several years of development at Ubisoft Singapore, eventually landing on the live-service model. Unlike most live-service games, however, Skull and Bones will apparently feature a “living, breathing world” that changes depending on community actions.
As VGC reports, Ubisoft CFO Frédérick Duguet stated during a recent earnings call that Skull and Bones was “a very promising new IP focusing on multiplayer first,” and was “very consistent with our strategy to bring multiplayer competition and co-op first in a big open world, with a great, attractive fantasy.” Ubisoft last delayed the game back in May 2021 and has since been able to keep to its release schedule.
That being said, the same can’t be said for the game’s developer Ubisoft Singapore. Back in August 2021, the studio was brought under the microscope of Singapore’s national employment watchdog after allegations of workplace misconduct surfaced. The investigation officially closed last month, but the game’s associate director also left the company at around the same time.
In other news, Ubisoft has stated that Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s upcoming Dawn of Ragnarok expansion will be the company’s largest 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.