Skull And Bones won’t be bare bones, according to Ubisoft (Picture: Ubisoft)
Skull And Bones will be a ‘fully-fledged’ experience that is worth the asking price says Ubisoft – despite it being a live service title.
After numerous delays and development reworks over the past 11 (!)years, there’s plenty of reason to approach Ubisoft’s pirate action game Skull And Bones with significant caution.
That’s especially true given it is a live service online game and yet will cost £69.99 when it launches on February 16. Although, Ubisoft has attempted to explain why it hasn’t adopted a free-to-play approach for the title, during a Q&A session for its Q3 2024 financial results.
When asked if the current full price release strategy could limit its chances of building a community, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot replied: ‘You will see that Skull And Bones is a fully-fledged game. It’s a very big game, and we feel that people will really see how vast and complete that game is.
‘It’s really full, triple… quadruple-A game, that will deliver in the long run.’
Skull And Bones was originally set to be released in 2018. It has been delayed countless times since, with the title undergoing a reboot in September 2020 to pivot to a ‘new vision’. Last September, the game lost its third creative director, Elisabeth Pellen, who was originally hired to steer this new vision.
Four years after it was rebooted, Skull And Bones is finally set to launch this month – despite the sense that interest in the title has long since set sail. For those who want to try it out, an open beta is available now and runs until Sunday February 11.
Also during the investor conference, Ubisoft confirmed the next Assassin’s Creed, codenamed Red and set in Japan, will be released before the company’s next financial year ends in March 2025. This comes after a leak claimed it would be released later this year.
In terms of financial numbers, Ubisoft saw a 4.1% drop in revenue over the previous year, with a slight uptick in net bookings by 1.6%. For the fourth quarter, Ubisoft expects bookings to ‘sharply rise’ to record heights, thanks to early praise for Prince Of Persia: The Lost Crown and the release of Skull And Bones.
Ubisoft also reported on the performance of Assassin’s Creed Nexus VR, which launched on Meta Quest in November. Guillemot said it was ‘a bit disappointed’ with the title’s sales, with the studio now not putting any further investment into VR until interest in the platform grows.
‘It did OK, and it continues to sell, but we thought it would sell more, so we are not increasing our investment on VR at the moment, because it needs to take off,’ he added.
‘We have been very impressed by what Apple came up with, and we think it’s fantastic hardware, but we continue to look at this VR business as something that we have to look at but not invest too much in, until it grows enough.’
As for Ubisoft’s upcoming titles, Star Wars Outlaws is still set to be released this year. The studio is also working on a Splinter Cell remake, multiple other Assassin’s Creed titles, two new Far Cry games, and reportedly a new Ghost Recon. Although none of them have release dates.
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