According to those familiar with the situation, things are continuing to look bleak for Ubisoft’s pirate-themed action game Skull & Bones. Lead Designer and associate game director Antoine Henry has left the company, leaving the future of the project in a murkier situation than it had already been.
Today’s news comes after scattered reports over the years that alleged development on the pirate game has been a struggle for nearly a decade. “Goodbye Ubisoft! After nearly fifteen years, today was my last day. I’m thankful for the people I’ve met and what they brought me professionally and personally. Hopefully, I was able to give back a little bit. On to new exciting adventures very soon,” shared Antoine in his LinkedIn post.
From staff departures and design changes to outright reboots of the entire project, the news has been troubling for fans that have been anticipating Skull & Bones since it was first revealed by Ubisoft at E3 2017. The publisher had a massive hit with Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, which mixed the classic franchise gameplay with swashbuckling action. Skull & Bones was going to be the grand follow-up that would offer players the ultimate pirate experience.
Obviously, that hope has yet to be fulfilled and there are no guarantees that Skull & Bones will ever see a release. Henry’s LinkedIn profile noted that the designer was shuffled off Skull & Bones to spend three years working on Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
With progress likely slowing to a crawl, most publishers would be willing to cut their losses and cancel the project. In this case, Ubisoft accepted financial considerations from the Singapore government to produce a game using Ubisoft Singapore as the lead studio. The publisher likely has serious financial incentives to complete work on Skull & Bones, but what will ultimately be released is anyone’s guess at this point.
Chris Jarrard posted a new article, Skull & Bones Lead Designer departs troubled project
Ouch. It feels like the whole genesis of this was “hey those pirate ship bits in AC Black Flag were great, how can we make a full game out of it?!” And they still haven’t answered the question fulfillingly.