After eight years in development, a Skull & Bones release date looks even more unlikely after another lead game designer has exited Ubisoft.
The release of Ubisoft’s Skull & Bones seems more unlikely after the game’s director exited Ubisoft. The open-world pirate game began development in 2013 but Skull & Bones has remained in purgatory for years, with numerous delays, lack of direction, and consistent developer changes seemingly interrupting any concrete progress on the game. A Skull & Bones release was originally scheduled for late 2018 on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, but it suffered several delays due to the emergence of a new vision for Skull & Bones from the Ubisoft development team.
Not a lot is known about Skull & Bones, however, scarce details have surfaced. In July of 2020, an anonymous source claimed that Ubisoft rebooted Skull & Bones’ development to better fit its portfolio, with the source saying the game was becoming a cross between Fortnite and Sea of Thieves. This was a massive change from the original Skull & Bones design, with sources claiming it was supposed to be a pirate-themed World of Warships. Since then, Ubisoft has restarted Skull & Bones development from scratch on numerous occasions. A few months ago, industry insider Tom Henderson reportedly revealed additional details about the game, claiming Skull & Bones centers around completing quests and earning money to customize and upgrade a pirate ship. Henderson also claimed that Skull & Bones’ setting is based on Madagascar and Mozambique.
Though some details have been promising, it seems another developer exit could make a Skull & Bones release even more unlikely. According to his LinkedIn profile (via TheGamer), game director Antoine Henry has left Ubisoft. “Goodbye Ubisoft! After nearly 15 years, today was my last day,” he wrote in his goodbye post.
“I’m thankful for the people I’ve met and what they brought me professionally and personally. Hopefully, I was able to give back a little bit. On to new exciting adventures very soon!”
There aren’t any additional details regarding what Henry’s “new exciting adventures” are, and Ubisoft hasn’t made any official announcement about formally replacing Henry on the Skull & Bones development team.
Considering Skull & Bones’ development turmoil, it’s unclear whether the game will ever get an official launch date. Antoine Henry was a key part of Skull & Bones’ development since 2014. Having started at Ubisoft in 2007 with Rayman Raving Rabbids 2, Henry worked his way through several big Ubisoft titles including two more Rabbids games, Just Dance 4, and Watch Dogs. He acted as a lead game designer for Skull & Bones until he was promoted to associate game director in 2017. While he did stop development on Skull & Bones to work on Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Henry returned to the open-world pirate game in 2021.
So far, Skull & Bones has reportedly cost Ubisoft over $120 million. With over eight years of development and no news of a potential launch date, it seems a Skull & Bones release is still far away if it arrives at all. Unless Ubisoft can stick with a design rather than restarting from scratch again, it’s likely Skull & Bones could remain lost at sea.
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