Besides 2018’s Sea of Thieves and 2013’s Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, there aren’t many play-worthy pirate games. Sure, Sid Meier’s Pirates! was a pretty respectable hit in 2004 and the second-best game of the year, right behind the ever-expansive World of Warcraft; despite that, it too has fallen to oblivion. Luckily for all the pirate-enthusiasts, Ubisoft is looking to revive scallywaging, pillaging, looting, and cannon shooting with its upcoming Skull & Bones, a piracy and naval battles game which finally got its release date.
As reported by IGN, the upcoming open-world pirate game, Skull & Bones, developed and published by the controversial French game maker, Ubisoft, is being released this November after years of troubled development. The information was first leaked on Twitter, where it was confirmed by Tom Henderson, a reputable industry insider with a solid track record. In light of the leak, many DLC packs for the game were listed on Xbox Store, suggesting that Ubisoft is nearing an official announcement of the game’s release date.
Those familiar with the game’s course of development know that the Skull & Bones release date was continually shifting internally within the studio. Previous reports have suggested that Ubisoft planned a closed beta test for June, which was canceled over quality concerns regarding the game’s latest build. The game was initially supposed to launch earlier this year but suffered crushing delays, the last of which suggested September as the final release date, which has apparently slipped once again to November.
However, the recent leaks followed by Henderson’s confirmation — which aren’t indicative of the final release date — aren’t the only evidence suggesting an imminent reveal of the game’s launch date. Skull & Bones was recently rated by ESRB, following South Korea’s rating a month prior, and gameplay footage that leaked in April showcasing a comprehensive overview of the game, though that footage doesn’t clarify the build nor the development stage of the game at the time the footage was captured.
Skull & Bones was first announced in 2017 and scheduled for a 2018 release date, but it has suffered continuous delays on account of legal troubles Ubisoft was going though in recent years, paired with a slow and practically non-existent development of the publisher’s other titles. Some reports have even suggested messy development in terms of lack of clear vision and direction, as well as ballooning costs and tons of attrition.
But what’s most interesting about Skull & Bones is its history. The game’s development began as an expansion for the previously mentioned Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag but has evolved into dozen other iterations and game types over its development course. It’s unclear exactly when Ubisoft’s creatives finally decided on the standalone title, but it’s safe to presume it was sometime prior to the game’s announcement.
Another interesting thing is that we haven’t seen any showcase event for Skull & Bones, which is something the gaming community expects from Ubisoft. However, the game is still not ready for primetime, so the reveal will likely arrive in the coming months before the game’s purported release date. Of course, this is all speculation and rumors spread by more prominent names in the gaming community and should be ingested with a grain of salt.