Skull & Bones creative director Justin Farren spoke to Gamespot recently and attempted to clarify what Ubisoft meant when the French publisher said the game would have a ‘narrative campaign’.Initially thought to be a traditional single-player mode, this ‘narrative campaign’ will instead be a shared experience told over the course of months and years, attempting to tie into Ubisoft’s focus on games-as-a-service.

Farren said the developer is looking at a ‘shared-narrative’ approach, meaning the single-player aspect of the game is not a separate experience, but is instead ‘woven into everything you do.’ He added that the storyline will play out over a longer period of time, saying ‘We wanted to create a system that let us tell our narrative month after month, year after year, and then throw in the story elements to it’.

In a blog post from a few months ago, Ubisoft said that it’s keen to build on the groundwork set by other co-op, games-as-a-service titles in its catalogue such as The Division, and going by what Farren is saying, that’s still very clear. 

The aim for Ubisoft is to combine the mentality of those who play squad-based multiplayer games with that of those who only play solo campaigns to enhance the experience over time, rather than being restricted to a shorter experience. If they get it right it could be glorious, but so far it doesn’t look like much more than Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag pirate ships edition.

Skull & Bones is a naval warfare action game, players take control of a customisable pirate captain and form an alliance with a group of like-minded players to sail the seas and gain control of disputed waters. Players can collect multiple types of ships throughout the game and also hunt for loot and treasure. No details about the storyline have yet been revealed.

Skull & Bones is due out in 2018 for PS4, Xbox One and PC.