Ubisoft has pushed back Skull and Bones from its expected late 2018 launch to the developer’s next fiscal year. Skull and Bones will now arrive between April 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020, Ubisoft announced during its earnings call.
Skull and Bones was unveiled last year at E3. The piracy sim turns the naval warfare aspects of the Assassin’s Creed franchise into a full, multiplayer-centric game. It was developed by Ubisoft Singapore, the studio behind the ship battles in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. We found Skull and Bones to be an engaging experience during our brief time with it at E3 last year. Those who have played the naval portions of the Assassin’s Creed franchise will feel right at home. Crews of up to six players set sail across the Indian Ocean in search of treasure and conflict. The game will be always online, but it will have a single-player component, though not in the traditional sense.
While Ubisoft didn’t get into specifics about the reason for the delay, it seems that it was partially related to Ubisoft’s release schedule. The studio has three major games slated for release before the end of its current fiscal year. The Crew 2, an open-world racing game, launches June 29, as we already knew.
On the earnings call, though, Ubisoft revealed the yet-to-be-unveiled The Division 2 will also launch before the end of the current fiscal year. While no exact window was given, the first game in the series launched in March 2016, so a March 2019 launch makes sense given how well the first game performed in that slot.
Interestingly, the third Ubisoft game that will launch in its current fiscal year won’t be revealed until E3. Ubisoft described this game as an “unannounced franchise title,” meaning that it’s an established series. If we had to guess, that game is probably Watch Dogs 3 or the recently rumored return of Splinter Cell.
Although delays are never ideal from a fan perspective, giving Skull and Bones more time to cook makes sense if Ubisoft plans on turning the series into an ongoing franchise.
We’ll learn more about Ubisoft’s plans for the rest of the year during its E3 press conference at 1 p.m. PT on June 11.