Skull & Bones sails into a sixth delay while Ubisoft axes three more unannounced games

Skull & Bones sails into a sixth delay while Ubisoft axes three more unannounced games

The sea is harsh, but game development can be harsher. Ubisoft’s pirate ’em up Skull and Bones has been delayed yet again, despite already having being delayed for the fifth time last September. It was due for March, but this latest delay pushes it back to “early” in the financial year 2023-24, which begins in July.

At least it’s (sea)faring better than three other unannounced Ubisoft games, which have been cancelled thanks to Ubisoft’s general underperforming sails. Sorry, sales.

The news comes from Ubisoft’s extremely business-ey annoucement, which is essentially a long letter attempting to reassure shareholders.

They claim they’re struggling thanks to a continued industry shift “towards mega-brands and long-lasting titles”, highlighting how the latest entries to their own mega-brands (Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry and assorted Tom Clancys) have been invested in but haven’t come out yet. They cite “worsening macroeconomic conditions”, and seem to blame that shift towards mega-brands for the financial “underperformance” of Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope and Just Dance 2023.

They say all this calls for “increased cautiousness”, hence the fresh wave of cancellations. Those come on top of already cancelling Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Frontline, Splinter Cell VR and two unannounced games last July. The Splinter Cell remake is still coming, as far as I’m aware.

The announcement also mentions “targeted restructuring”, which suggests people’s jobs are likely being chopped, too. Elsewhere, Ubisoft claim their “balance sheet is strong with around €1.5 billion in cash”.

A Skull & Bones beta is still on the horizon. Ubisoft say the game’s in great shape, but they’re delaying it again so they’ve got more time to “showcase a much more polished and balanced experience and to build awareness”. It was originally meant to release in autumn 2018.

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