The publisher announced the delay on Tuesday as part of its latest earnings results, confirming that the game is now scheduled for release during its next fiscal year beginning in April 2022.
Ubisoft said the current fiscal year ending on March 31, 2022 will include the releases of Far Cry 6 and Rainbow Six Quarantine by September 30, plus Riders Republic, The Division Heartland and Roller Champions. “Skull and Bones will now be released in 2022-23,” it confirmed.
UPDATE: Chief financial officer Frédérick Duguet commented on the Skull & Bones delay during Ubisoft’s earnings call
“We strongly believe in the team’s creative vision and they have been given an increasingly ambitious mandate for the game,” he said. “Production led by [Ubisoft] Singapore has been advancing well over the past 12 months and the promise is better than ever. The additional time will allow the team to fully deliver on its vision.”
“What we have been doing to make sure they could really come strongly with Skull & Bones is we increased the associate studios that are working with them at the moment so there’s a good and big team now working on the game and the last 12 months have really been good in terms of the way things were coming along, so we are confident they can really bring something really exceptional for the market.”
Duguet added: “Singapore developed unique experience in naval combat contributing to Assassin’s Creed 4 Black Flag.”
ORIGINAL STORY CONTINUES: Announced at E3 2017, Skull & Bones is the first title led by Ubisoft’s Singapore studio. It was originally scheduled for a late 2018 release but it has now been delayed in four consecutive years.
Ubisoft said in September 2020 that it was pursuing a “new direction” with Skull & Bones. Confirming an earlier VGC exclusive, the game’s new creative director Elisabeth Pellen said Ubisoft Singapore had “dreamt something bigger” and that fans would see the game again sometime in 2021.
Pellen was brought in to steer the reboot, VGC first reported, replacing former creative director Justin Farren who later left the company.
Pellen is a 20-year Ubisoft veteran who most notably wrote and directed 2003 shooter XIII and led level design for Splinter Cell’s first sequel, Pandora Tomorrow.
“First and foremost, thank you to our fans for showing tremendous patience,” she wrote on Ubisoft’s website last year. “We know you’ve been waiting for news, so I’m thrilled to confirm this: production on Skull & Bones has been in full swing with a new vision.
“Our teams at Ubisoft Singapore are fully committed to launching the game, as well as supporting it for many years to come,” she added. “While our game won’t be present at Ubisoft Forward on September 10, we’re currently working on plans to present Skull & Bones sometime in the future. It will be worth the wait.”
Pellen said the reason for the game’s previous delay was because “we simply needed more time.”
According to VGC’s development sources, the decision was made to move Skull & Bones away from the premium boxed model of Ubisoft’s other open-world titles towards a ‘live’ game model.
VGC was told the title will now feature a persistent game world with quests, characters and storylines that will drastically evolve and change over time based on the collective actions of the community.
This is unlike games as a service titles such as The Division 2, which receive regular updates, but have relatively static worlds, stories and content.
In November 2020, the managing director of Skull & Bones studio Ubisoft Singapore was replaced following misconduct allegations.