Skull & Bones, Ubisoft’s PVP/PVE pirate-y Black Flag kinda-spinoff, is in trouble. A new report from Kotaku, which claims to have background info on the game from former and current developers who’ve worked on it, spills some more details on just how bad things have gotten behind the scenes for the game. It appears that no one really knows what this game is or what it should be.
Allegedly, Skull & Bones’ development stalls every time the developers try and figure out what the game should be. At last report, the game has gone from being strictly a live-service, standalone ship combat game based on what happens in Black Flag, to having survival and crafting elements and offering users the chance to go on land, for some reason. Every time a major design decision changes, the game’s development almost resets.
It’s not exactly a hot news flash to point out that Skull & Bones is having development problems, it’s true. The multiple delays the game has seen are already proof that the game is languishing. But this new report’s claims show just how deep the problem seems to run. The report cites several people who have worked on the game, each of whom says that it would have been canceled by now were it being made by any other company.
One tidbit noted in the report is that Ubisoft apparently can’t cancel the game (or at least, that doing so would be thanks to a deal it’s made with the government of Singapore. The company’s Singaporean studio, which is the primary development team on Skull & Bones, apparently receives major subsidies, but only on the condition that it releases games in the next few years. Since Skull & Bones appears to be the only project the studio is working on, it’s probably that or nothing.