This post originally appeared on Kotaku UK, bringing you original reporting, game culture and humour from the British isles.
Skull & Bones, Ubisoft’s standalone of the pirate tech it first unveiled in Assassin’s Creed 3, has had a troubled history. Revealed in 2017, it was originally due to release the following year, but has since been delayed three times, and is now due in the 2021/22 financial year. According to a report from VGC, that’s the result of an internal reboot of the game away from a premium title and towards a live service.
Originally due to release as a boxed product much like any of the rest of Ubi’s open-world titles, the new IP has reportedly struggled to establish itself among the likes of Assassin’s Creed, Watch Dogs, and Far Cry. As a result, Ubisoft decided to reboot the game entirely, moving “towards a live game model,” featuring “a persistent game world with quests, characters and storylines that will drastically evolve and change over time.” Fortnite‘s approach to live storytelling has reportedly been an inspiration in shaping this new strategy.
The game hasn’t been seen since 2018, and its social media accounts have gone almost completely dark, so it’s difficult to get any real sense of what the finished product might eventually look like. In terms of what it sounds like, however, I’m getting some distinctive Sea of Thieves vibes – another seafaring title with characters and questlines that have been adjusted over time.
Rare’s cartoon-y style, however, has certainly worked in its favour, and I’m not convinced the grittier take that Ubisoft has previously shown off will entirely suit the new approach.