Skull and Bones, the long-awaited open-world game, that aims to build on the pirating genre of Assassin’s Creed Black Flag and Microsoft’s Sea of Thieves has once again been delayed until “early 2023-24,” as developer Ubisoft announces plans to launch a beta phase, postponing the Skull and Bones release date.
Beginning development in 2013, Skull and Bones was first revealed during Ubisoft’s conference at E3 2017. An initial release date of late 2018 was soon changed to 2019. The game then slipped again, to 2020, and again to 2021. In July 2022, Ubisoft announced a November 8 release date for Skull and Bones. Two months later, in September, that date was changed to March 9, 2023.
And now Skull and Bones has once again been delayed, with Ubisoft reporting during its January 11 investors call that a playable beta will be made available ahead of a full launch during “early 2023-24.”
“Players will be able to discover the beauty of Skull and Bones in the upcoming beta phase,” the developer says. “The additional time has already paid off and brought impressive improvements to its quality, which has been confirmed by recent playtests.
“We believe players will be positively surprised by its evolution. We have decided to postpone its release in order to have more time to showcase a much more polished and balanced experience and to build awareness. Skull and Bones will now be released early 2023-24.”
“Early 2023-24” may refer to a release period, outlined by Ubisoft, that will see the launch of various new games, including a “large…yet-to-be-announced premium game.”
“Leveraging the biggest pipeline of games in the Ubisoft’s history,
2023-24 will see the releases of Assassin’s Creed Mirage, Avatar Frontiers of Pandora, Skull and Bones, and other yet-to-be-announced premium games, including a large one, as well as promising free-to-play titles for some of our biggest brands,” says Frédéric Duguet, the company’s chief financial officer. Possibly, then, Skull and Bones could still launch within 2023, during the early stages of this release period designated by Ubisoft.
Ubisoft also says that the “postponement” of Skull and Bones contributes to a revision of its full-year financial targets, with “net bookings expected to be down more than 10% year-on-year versus a prior expectation of up more than 10%.” A release date for the Skull and Bones beta has not been announced.