Ubisoft have stated there will be more news on Skull & Bones in 2021, though production “has been in full swing with a new vision,” as they “dreamt something bigger.”
We previously reported claims from Video Games Chronicle (VGC) that “according to development sources speaking under the condition of anonymity,” the game’s development was rebooted due to not standing out among Ubisoft’s portfolio of in-development open-world games.
The game was instead moving towards a live game model (also known as “Games as a Service”). This means a game world that will change over time with updates, including being shaped actions made by players.
One anonymous source told VGC that the social aspect and “live storytelling” of Fortnite was a strong inspiration behind the game’s change of focus. This new Skull & Bones is also going to focus more on players working together, with Ubisoft wanting to appeal to audiences beyond competitive action games.
The game’s development staff had some changes as well, with creative director Justin Farren leaving (joining Wargaming), and replaced by former editorial VP Elisabeth Pellen (writer and director of XIII, lead level design for Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow, and more).
Now, Pellen has issued a statement on the game’s progress. Thanking fans for their “tremendous patience,” she stated production “has been in full swing with a new vision.”
“Our teams at Ubisoft Singapore are fully committed to launching the game, as well as supporting it for many years to come. While our game won’t be present at Ubisoft Forward on September 10, we’re currently working on plans to present Skull & Bones sometime in the future. It will be worth the wait.”
Pellen explained the game’s delay had was a matter of needing more time in development. “We dreamt something bigger for Skull & Bones, and these ambitions naturally came with bigger challenges.”
While not elaborating on what the game is now, Pellen spoke highly of the development team’s passion. More news on Skull & Bones will be revealed next year.
“These difficulties resulted in necessary delays for our game. Critical questions needed to be addressed over the past several months such as: how do we modernize the classic pirate fantasy? How do we ensure a more immersive and visceral experience? How do we create cool and memorable moments in-game? For most of these questions to be answered, it was clear that we needed more development time.
As Skull & Bones evolved from its original idea to what it is now, it was also necessary to have some fresh eyes join the team. I was one of those people when I joined as Skull & Bones’ creative director a little over two years ago. I have been part of the game’s core team that leads many of the talented developers at Ubisoft Singapore. Since then, many new talents have joined our global crew.
From our teams in Ubisoft Berlin, Chengdu, Kiev, Paris and the Philippines, it is truly a team effort. The dedication and passion of our developers continue to fuel our drive to make Skull & Bones something all of us can be proud of. Our confidence in each other’s talents is what motivates us to push Skull & Bones towards the finish line and beyond.
We’re proud of the work we’ve done and we hope you will be too when you see more of Skull & Bones at our comeback next year. Until then, on behalf of everyone in the Skull & Bones team around the world, keep safe and we will see you again soon!”
We will keep you informed as we learn more.