Skull and Bones was revealed by Ubisoft last month at E3 and it looks like a swashbuckling good time that allows players to live out their fantasies of being a pirate on the high seas. The game features online naval combat and will allow gamers to wage naval warfare against their friends.
Ubisoft is no stranger to naval-themed gameplay and Skull and Bones is very similar to the naval gameplay featured in both Assassin’s Creed III and Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag. There was no option to play the naval warfare online in those games and many people feel that Skull and Bones will deliver the online seafaring gameplay we hoped for with the Assassin’s Creed games. Indeed, Skull and Bones is being developed by Ubisoft Singapore, who developed the naval combat for the Assassin’s Creed games. So, why is Skull and Bones a new IP rather than a spin-off Assassin’s Creed game?
In an interview with GameSpot, Ubisoft Singapore managing director Olivier de Rotalier and Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot revealed that Skull and Bones has been made its own IP to help give it freedom to explore its own ideas and to allow the Assassin’s Creed series to go in its own direction.
Ubisoft Singapore pitched a prototype Assassin’s Creed game featuring online naval warfare to Ubisoft but it wasn’t where the studio wanted to take the series. Thus the game became its own IP, Skull and Bones.
Gillemot stated that this also helps the game be free to explore its own ideas. “We didn’t want the limits–creating a new IP gives you the chance to do whatever you want. It’s a way to get more freedom,” he said.
Ubisoft apparently has high hopes for the game and wants to support it as a brand for the next 10-15 years. “We believe in Skull & Bones,” said de Rotalier. He went on to say: “We are building a game that we want to support in the long term, that relies on strong mechanics; RPG, online. We want to build a strong service to be able to support a long-term experience. We are convinced that the core gameplay that we are building is big enough to experience on the long term and keep people engaged. We have a plan to make it last.”
It seems the fan response to Skull and Bones has been immense. Guillemot said that no other new IP in Ubisoft history has attracted as many new registered players following its reveal, this is most likely referring to the upcoming beta you can sign up for.
An exact release date is yet to be revealed but the game is expected in 2018 for the PlayStation 4, the Xbox One, and PC.