Ubisoft has a new IP on the horizon with its upcoming title Skull and Bones, based around the naval gameplay and concepts from Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. However, the publisher doesn’t necessarily want people to stay stuck on the idea that Skull and Bones is just another Black Flag in a different skin.
Speaking with Gamespot, creative director Justin Farren from the Ubisoft Singapore studio explained what makes Skull and Bones stand out from the Assassin’s Creed franchise, and specifically how it separates itself from Black Flag.
When it comes to the type of experience you have with Assassin’s Creed, Assassin’s Creed is a very specific fantasy about being an assassin, about being in a crowd, and that’s not the game we wanted to make. We wanted to make something that really leveraged the power of those huge, massive ships. You’ll notice that we have a lot of what we call “ship porn”, where we really focused on the details and intricacies of the ship and we bring the ship to life and make it a character of its own, and that’s something we wanted to do.
The interview focuses on how Skull and Bones is being designed to take full advantage of the newer tech and advances Ubisoft has made within the Assassin’s Creed franchise in order to create a unique naval experience.
The team seems to be not letting that experience go to waste and are working hard to help shape Skull and Bones with its own identity. This even extends to the game’s payment and monetization setup.
According to Farren, the team is working on creating a system that will allow players to purchase microtransactions and will continue to help the game grow, much like what the other teams are doing with For Honor and what Ubisoft managed to accomplish with Rainbow Six: Siege.
However, at the same time there’s also some effort being put into making sure that the game isn’t pay-to-win, which is one of the biggest hurdles most online multiplayer games suffer from once a cash shop is introduced.
What we want to do is make sure if players want things, that we provide content for them if they want and that they don’t feel like it’s gated off because they didn’t pay for it. So, we want to have live events, we want to have seasonal events, seasons where you’re able to compete against other players to try to get to the top of the ladder and the top of the food chain. Those things will give you opportunity to get those customization elements, those cosmetics, vanity items that will allow you to personalize your experience.
Farren closed by saying that he’s spent hundreds on Overwatch cosmetics himself, so he knows all too well the desire to buy in-game items.
Skull and Bones will be releasing for PS4, Xbox One, and PC sometime in Fall 2018.