I won’t tell you to hold me back if you’ve heard this one before because I know full well you’ve heard this one before (opens in new tab): Skull and Bones, Ubisoft’s game of high seas shenanigans set in the golden age of piracy, has been delayed again and is expected to release sometime after April 1.
Skull and Bones was set to release on March 9 this year, which itself was delayed from November 8, 2022, a date pulled after several previous delay (opens in new tab) going all the way back to Fall 2018. The March goal seemed pretty solid to me – I mean, how long can an Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag spin-off game last? – but it turned out that I was too optimistic.
The announcement of the latest delay comes amid bad news for Ubisoft, which today said it was “facing major challenges (opens in new tab) as the industry continues to shift towards mega-brands and long-lasting titles that can reach players around the world, across different platforms and business models. has not yet been released, while games that launched recently, such as Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope and Just Dance 2023, have not lived up to expectations.
The situation has led to a significant revision of Ubisoft’s financial targets – downwards, in case there was any doubt – and has also caught Skull and Bones in its vortex.
“Players will be able to discover the beauty of Skull and Bones in the upcoming beta phase,” said Ubisoft. “The extra time has already paid off and led to impressive quality improvements, which has been confirmed by recent playtests. We think players will be positively surprised by its evolution.
“We have decided to delay the release to allow more time to showcase a much more polished and balanced experience and build awareness. Skull and Bones will now be released in early 2023-24.”
That would be Ubisoft’s 2023-2024 fiscal year, just to be clear, which starts on April 1. That awareness-building part is probably the smart move — Skull and Bones has been kicking around in unreleased form for so long that I’m beginning to forget it ever existed.