Skull and Bones
Skull and Bones
Released Feb. 16th, 2024
Published by: Ubisoft
Developed by: Ubisoft Singapore
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Enter the perilous world of Skull and BonesTM, where you play by your own rules to rise from a nobody to become the most fearsome pirate kingpin. Skull and Bones is on Ubisoft Connect, Epic Games, Playstation 5, Xbox series X|S, and Luna.


As of 2017, Skull and Bones was marketed as a tactical action game set in an open world environment and played from a third-person perspective. Players take control of a customizable pirate ship, and may choose to sail the Indian Ocean on a single-player campaign, or gather up to five other players to ally in player versus player gameplay in Disputed Waters.

Wind positioning can be assessed to gain an advantage in battle. Players may collect additional ships throughout the game, such as sloops-of-war, frigates and brigantines, whose weapons include mortars, broadside cannons, and rockets. Ships can be charged into with brute force and boarded. The rate of inflicted damage is gauged by the health bar. A core component is the multiplayer mode Loot Hunt, where two groups of players are challenged in treasure hunting to further accumulate their riches. Each given ship's crow's nest is scalable for use as a lookout point, and spyglasses will be available. Another large part of the game is plundering Forts and Settlements.


Skull and Bones is the first video game led by developer Ubisoft Singapore, which drew inspiration from the naval battles of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. The game began development in 2013, being initially envisioned as an expansion of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, then an MMO spinoff title under the name Black Flag Infinite. It was then spun off as an independent project, in part due to its initial technology becoming outdated.

According to a Kotaku report, the game has undergone multiple changes in direction and scope during development, exceeding its budget multiple times. Initially set in the Caribbean, it was moved to the fantastical Hyperborea, then finally East Africa and Southeast Asia. Gameplay was redesigned multiple times, focusing variously on naval exploration and ship-to-ship combat, before both were scrapped in favour of land-based survival elements inspired by games like Rust. Developers contacted by journalist Ethan Gach attributed these difficulties to conflicting ideas, management issues, and lack of consistent direction. The project reportedly cost Ubisoft more than $120 million.

The game was revealed during Ubisoft's press conference at E3 2017. It was confirmed for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with enhancements for PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X. Alongside the game, Ubisoft Singapore announced the "Keepers of the Code" program, designed to allow players to aid in the fine-tuning of its live-service aspects.

Originally set to be released in Q3/Q4 2018, the game was later delayed into 2019, and again to sometime after March 2020. On a call with investors in October 2019, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot confirmed that the game had been pushed back to at least the 2021–2022 fiscal year.

In September 2020, it was revealed that while development was continuing, a "new vision" for the game had emerged, which resulted in release delays as more development time was needed. Additionally, it was stated that additional Ubisoft Studios, such as Ubisoft Berlin, were co-developing the game alongside Ubisoft Singapore.

In May 2021, Ubisoft announced a subsequent delay to the 2022–2023 fiscal year. In July 2022, the company revealed a November 8 release date for the game, and that the game would launch on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S (replacing the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One). In September 2022, Ubisoft announced that the release was pushed back to March 9, 2023. In January 2023, Ubisoft delayed the game to the 2023–2024 fiscal year due to the underperformance of recent launches. However, new footage for the game was released. A closed beta was released on August 25, 2023.[dead link] In October 2023, it was announced that the game would be released in early 2024. At The Game Awards 2023, the final release date of February 16, 2024 was revealed.

Ubisoft's CEO, Yves Guillemot, justified the $70 price tag of Skull and Bones, emphasizing its status as a "quadruple-A game" despite incorporating live-service elements like an in-game store, battle pass, seasonal events, and premium currency. The game reportedly cost $200 million in its decade-long development and Ubisoft does not expect it to break even.