Following its announcement and reveal at E3 2017, Skull & Bones, Ubisoft’s new pirate-themed IP, had seemed to have vanished from the industry’s mind share. But apparently it hasn’t.
According to Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot, Skull & Bones has seen a “huge” unprecedented fan response, something that is backed by the fact that it achieved record beta registrations. In other words, no other new IP in Ubisoft’s history has tallied as many registered players following its reveal, according to Guillemot.
In a roundtable-style interview — reported by GameSpot — Ubisoft Singapore’s (the team behind the game) managing director Olivier de Rotalier revealed that after the team’s work on Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (where it worked on the popular naval combat), it wanted to stay in the pirate fantasy setting “to make it bigger and stronger.”
The team created a prototype featuring 1 vs. 1 naval warfare battles, and while it was a lot of fun, it wasn’t right for Assassin’s Creed at the time according to de Rotalier.
Further, according to Guillemot, making Skull & Bones a new IP rather than chaining it down to Assassin’s Creed permits Ubisoft Singapore more freedom to do what it wants with the game’s direction. Guillemot specifically says:
“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.”
Lastly, de Rotalier revealed the team’s and Ubisoft’s high hopes that Skull & Bones as an IP will be able to be supported for the the next 10-15 years, but obviously this comes down to one thing: how well it sells. But as for the believing in the product part, Ubisoft Singapore has that down-pat. de Rotalier continues:
“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.”
de Rotalier adds that the studio learned a lot from the recently shut-down Ghost Recon: Phantoms, which was a free-to-play PC shooter that…well…didn’t do very well at all. But according to de Rotalier the team learned from the experience how to best attract and retain players, something it will need if it wants Skull & Bones to thrive like it’s hoping it will.
For more information on Skull & Bones, be sure to check out our previous post that details the game — which appears to be multiplayer focus, but does include a single-player campaign.
Skull & Bones is poised to release sometime during fall 2018 for PS4, Xbox One and PC.