Ubisoft's Skull and Bones reportedly rebooted to be more of a live service game

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Ubisoft has reportedly rebooted Skull and Bones, the naval action game it first announced at E3 2017 and has yet to properly show again after repeated delays (opens in new tab)

A new report from VGC (opens in new tab) citing anonymous sources close to the game's development claims that Skull and Bones was delayed because its lead developer, Assassin's Creed: Black Flag contributor Ubisoft Singapore, was struggling to distinguish it from the company's other IP. After years of back and forth, it was apparently rebooted last year with a new direction that sounds like a mix of Sea of Thieves and Fortnite. 

The live events and storytelling moments of Fortnite were seemingly a major inspiration for the new Skull and Bones, and Ubisoft Singapore is said to be pursuing a live service structure that would prioritize regular content updates. Skull and Bones was initially pitched as a multiplayer sandbox built around PvP ship battles, but it's unclear how much of its original vision remains intact. VGC reports that Ubisoft is now seeking to entice players who may not fall into its traditional competitive or action demographics, so we may see Skull and Bones evolve into a more freewheeling sailing experience.

Many people had expected - or at least hoped - to hear more about Skull and Bones at this past weekend's Ubisoft Forward event, but there wasn't a single ship or sailor on the docket. Ubisoft hasn't discussed the game publicly in some time, and the last we heard about it was yet another delay announced during a financial call. 

Speaking of which, here's every trailer and announcement from Ubisoft Forward (opens in new tab). 

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.