Ubisoft’s multiplayer pirate battler Skull & Bones is now entering alpha, After eight years in development.
According to various Ubisoft developers, who spoke to Kotaku, the game’s development has been troubled.
Ubisoft released a statement to Kotaku. “The Skull & Bones team are proud of the work they’ve accomplished on the project since their last update.” Then: “With production just passing Alpha, [they] are excited to share more details when the time is right.”
Ubisoft then went on to caution about “unfounded speculation,” arguing that it “only works to demoralize the team.”
Skull & Bones started as an expansion for Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. It then changed shape over the years. The developer is Ubisoft Singapore, and the publisher originally scheduled the game for an autumn 2018 release. Ubisoft then delayed it to 2019. Another delay followed, and now we are looking at a 2022 release.
The reasons for its troubled development are varied. Apparently, there was never a “clear creative vision behind it.” There are also reports of mismanagement and several reboot attempts.
The game reportedly went overbudget, and required the help of other Ubisoft studios. One former developer said, “If Skull & Bones were at a competitor, it would have been killed 10 times already.”
Despite all these troubles, Ubisoft is still behind the game. We will have to wait until 2022 to see if it will all have been worth the storm.