One of Ubisoft's most highly anticipated games of 2018 won't be releasing this year on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC as planned. The French game publisher announced that Skull & Bones will now be released in either 2019 or 2020 (as part of their 2019 fiscal year). Ubisoft explained the delay by saying that they want "to offer players an even more engaging experience."
The tactical action game was unveiled during E3 2017 and is the first game led by developer Ubisoft Singapore. The concept of Skull & Bones' naval warfare came from the ship combat seen in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, which received plenty of praise from both fans and critics upon release. A single-player campaign that has players sailing the Indian Ocean has been announced, and there will also be a multiplayer modes such as Loot Hunt, where treasure hunting is the focus.
The decision to delay Skull & Bones led to the company dropping their forecast of 23 million units sold in the 2018 fiscal year down to 19 million. That means the company will, instead, be relying on three different triple-A titles to carry the brunt of their sales in the near future. These titles include the open-world racing game The Crew 2, Massive Entertainment's third-person shooter The Division 2, and an unannounced franchise title (that is speculated to be a new Splinter Cell).
While this is certainly an immediate blow to Ubisoft's financial estimates, it's refreshing to see a publisher putting the quality of a product first, just as they had done with Assassin's Creed: Origins. A new series only has one shot at a first impression. So, if Skull & Bones released in a poor state, it would potentially ruin what could otherwise be a highly profitable series for the company. After all, they are quite confident in Skull & Bones, based on how hard they pushed the game when they unveiled it at last year's E3 press conference.
Announcing the Skulls & Bones delay prior to this year's press conference is also an interesting wrinkle. The pirate game was pretty much a shoe-in to be one of the key focus areas of Ubisoft's showcase on Monday, June 11, but now, it might not even appear at all. It all depends on whether or not Ubisoft is happy with what they've got to show, or if they feel more polish is necessary before giving the title another look in the future.
Skull & Bones is slated to release in either 2019 or 2020 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.