After nine delays and a decade in dev, Ubisoft's Skull and Bones gets a new 2024 release date

Development on Ubisoft's Skull and Bones began in 2013, and now after a decade of development it's finally ready to set sail on February 16, 2024.

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Very few games have development cycles that last longer than a decade, and if they do, it's often for reasons that can be boiled down to "development troubles." Skull and Bones is one of these games, with Ubisoft Singapore kicking off development on the pirate-themed game after it worked on all of the cool pirate-themed stuff found in 2013's Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag.

After over a decade in development, Ubisoft's Skull and Bones is ready to set sail, image credit: Ubisoft.

After over a decade in development, Ubisoft's Skull and Bones is ready to set sail, image credit: Ubisoft.

Turning that into a full-fledged game was always an excellent idea, but Skull and Bones has been in a sort of development limbo since 2013 - and with Rare's Sea of Thieves and other open-world games with boats, it's no longer an original or fresh concept. But, after nine delays, a reboot, and a few closed beta tests, Ubisoft is finally ready to launch Skull and Bones on February 16, 2024.

The game is set to hit PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S on this day, with a Closed Beta coming this weekend - running from December 15 to 18.

At last week's The Game Awards 2023 event, Ubisoft announced that the game was overshadowed by higher-profile trailers and announcements (some of the more notable ones are listed above). Ubisoft describes Skull and Bones as a co-op open-world pirate action RPG, with the game garnering an extra year of development and polish after an early build was met with a lukewarm response.

Originally envisioned as a multiplayer game and then a free-to-play live service, the final version of Skull and Bones focuses on single-player and co-op. After close to 11 years in development, it'll be interesting to see how the game turns out and is received by the community and critics alike.

For a look at how Skull and Bones is shaping up and how it plays, Ubisoft released the following gameplay deep dive trailer over the weekend.

Interestingly, Skull and Bones isn't the only Ubisoft game currently in development that was announced over a decade ago. Beyond Good and Evil 2 currently holds the record for the longest development for a video game (an honor previously held by Duke Nukem Forever) - it's been in development at Ubisoft Montpellier for more than 15 years.

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Kosta is a veteran gaming journalist that cut his teeth on well-respected Aussie publications like PC PowerPlay and HYPER back when articles were printed on paper. A lifelong gamer since the 8-bit Nintendo era, it was the CD-ROM-powered 90s that cemented his love for all things games and technology. From point-and-click adventure games to RTS games with full-motion video cut-scenes and FPS titles referred to as Doom clones. Genres he still loves to this day. Kosta is also a musician, releasing dreamy electronic jams under the name Kbit.

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