Sunday’s Ubisoft Forward event was built on a few old faithfuls from the French publisher’s brand: Watch Dogs Legion continues to look ripper, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has cat raiders so I’m now totally invested in that and Far Cry 6 was officially revealed. With Hyper Scape and Brawlhalla fleshing out the event, it was a solid show but one that didn’t blow its load through a massive money-shot in one go as Ubisoft plans to broadcast more of these events in the months to come.
Some titles were still missing in action: The disappointment of not seeing a Splinter Cell reveal has become an annual tradition with Ubisoft, Beyond Good & Evil 2 seems to have gone missing in action and Skull & Bones may be dead in the water. Well, not exactly. First revealed in 2017, Ubisoft’s naughty nautical game has been through the ringer, suffering several delays and then vanishing off the release schedule charts.
It may still live yet again though! Ubisoft’s business is based primarily on live-servicing the heck out of its games, and a report from VGC has suggested that Skull & Bones will be headed in this direction. According to VGC’s sources, the game has shifted away from the premium live service sandbox model that Ubisoft’s AAA sandbox games use, and more towards a system similar in scope to Fortnite now that former editorial VP Elisabeth Pellen is creative director on the game.
What Ubisoft is looking to create with this new focus according to the report, is unfurl the sails on a world that has a persistent layer of storytelling and world-building events, similar to Fortnite. Basically, a game of player engagement that shapes how the world changes through several massive events. That could perhaps result in Skull & Bones adopting a freemium pricing model along the way, with optional microtransactions for making your poop deck the poopiest of them all.
Back when I played Skull & Bones in 2017, I still had a blast with it in its optimal condition: Sailing the seas with several allied ships at my side and kicking off a full-scale war in international waters. Elements of Skull & Bones can be seen in recent games such as Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, which makes the boat thugs in harmony combat a vital part of the experience.
Last Updated: July 14, 2020