Skull & Bones has gone through a number of directional changes throughout its development. From changes in direction and score to changes in design and game setting; it has been through developmental hell. Now, it’s facing another hurdle that will affect its release. Skull and Bones’ Lead Game Designer Antoine Henry leaves Ubisoft Singapore; leaving the game in a more vulnerable state.
He announced on LinkedIn that he will leave Ubisoft after working there for 15 years. He thanked everyone he had worked with and said he is excited about new adventures. Henry had been working on Skull & Bones since 2014. He was the Lead Game Designer and Associate Game Director. His exit will certainly affect the game’s release.
Skull & Bones has been in development since 2013. Originally it was planned as an expansion for Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag but later was branched out as an independent project. Since then, the game has undergone numerous changes which have highly affected its original release date of 2018.
The tactical action game is based on piracy and played from a third-person perspective. The setting of the game has changed a lot. Initially, it took place in the Caribbean. Then it got moved to ancient Hyperborea. And finally, the Indian Ocean became its setting. This resulted in the game going over budget due to various changes. So, the project has cost Ubisoft more than $120 million so far. This is more than what Ubisoft initially committed.
The game has been delayed multiple times. First into 2019, and then into 2020. The current release date is between the April 2022 – March 2023 fiscal year. If it comes out in 2022, it will be a decade after Black Flag.
Ubisoft will miss Henry as he had worked on many projects for them. He played an important role in developing Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla. He was part of the core team for the project and also lead teams working in Ubisoft Singapore, Chengdu, and the Philippines. It will be exciting to see what he does in the future.
Skulls & Bones’ future, on the other hand, does not look exciting. The delays have killed a lot of hype the game had. But Ubisoft says they have a “new vision” for the game. Other Ubisoft studios like Ubisoft Berlin, are also helping with the game.
There is no doubt that Ubisoft messed up its development. So much so, that some even believe the game is cursed. Henry’s departure will further affect a game already riddled with problems. Will we see if Skull & Bones living up to its promise? Only time will tell.