• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • The Politics forum has been nuked. Please do not bring political discussion to the rest of the site, or you will be removed. Thanks.

Opinion Game Dev Skull & Bones: First It Was An Assassin's Creed Expansion, Now It's Ubisoft's 8 Year Nightmare

IbizaPocholo

NeoGAFs Kent Brockman
Dec 1, 2014
29,644
35,098
1,345
ibiza

A few people said it was cursed. Others simply had no idea what they were supposed to be making. “Nobody knew what the fuck they were doing,” said one former developer.

Skull & Bones development began back in 2013, as a multiplayer expansion to Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag that would release as a post-launch update, three sources with knowledge of the project’s origins said. The expansion soon took on a life of its own, however, morphing into a full blown MMO-like spin-off with the working title Black Flag Infinite, and later a brand new pirate game called Skull & Bones.

The game made a big splash with an on-stage reveal and hands-on demo at E3 2017, and returned a year later with a second polished demo, but has since disappeared. Sources are split over what happened. Some say despite the well received E3 blowouts the game effectively didn’t exist. Others argue that a version of what was playable at industry events could have launched roughly on time in Early Access and matured in the wild as other games-as-a-service have.

Years later the game is still struggling to take shape and people are running on empty.

“A lot of stuff still doesn’t make sense,” said one former developer. “Just polishing it at this point would be a waste of time.”

That’s four big delays in just three years. Even from a company with a reputation for rescheduling like Ubisoft, it raises red flags about the project’s future and the fate of those working on it. Skull & Bones may come out some day, and it might even end up being great. But up to this point, its development has been marred by just about everything that can go wrong in blockbuster video game production.

“No one believed February 2022 [for launch], but you always hope,” one current developer told Kotaku following the latest delay, announced during Ubisoft’s May investor’s call.

That earnings call found Ubisoft execs scrambling to explain yet another setback.

“Production, led by [Ubisoft] Singapore, has been advancing well over the past 12 months, and the promise is better than ever,” Ubisoft CFO Frederick Duguet said during the same meeting. “The additional time will allow the team to fully deliver on its vision.”

Check the link for more.
 
  • LOL
Reactions: Bo_Hazem

jigglet

Member
May 18, 2020
3,219
5,811
630
I bet I know what happened.

Someone said: let's just take Black Flag and double down on the sailing. Simple.

Then some creative spark trying to justify their jobs came in and started talking in all sorts of abstract nothingness and 8 years later it's a mess.

I've seen it all before. It starts simple then someone who thinks too much of themselves complicates things up for the sake of complicating things up.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Phase

GHG

Member
Nov 9, 2006
26,498
40,610
1,845
They are now redesigning it from the ground up for Ubisoft's F2P future.

Be excited.
 
  • LOL
Reactions: Bo_Hazem

elliot5

Member
Apr 22, 2021
2,818
6,283
440
 

Warablo

Member
May 15, 2013
2,889
959
730
They wanted a Pvp live service game so bad, when they could have released maybe a decent single player pirate game in the meantime.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bluecondor

Closer

Member
Nov 19, 2018
739
743
335
Brazil
“The additional time will allow the team to fully deliver on its vision.”

Vision? Which one? Do they know what they are doing now?
 

Kadve

Member
Jun 5, 2019
562
593
425
“The additional time will allow the team to fully deliver on its vision.”

Vision? Which one? Do they know what they are doing now?
To quote a guy (RamTank) from reddit:
So it started as an Assassins' Creed expansion. Then became a MMO. Then became For Honour with ships. Then became The Division with ships. Then became a rogue-lite survival. And now who the hell knows what it is.
 
  • LOL
Reactions: Closer

TrueLegend

Member
Jun 7, 2021
488
1,125
500
Ubisoft to Investors: Maybe the real treasure was the developers we hired and fired along the way, and the AAAA tag we slapped with each of the four delay.
(And we will sell this nice rhyme to you as full-fledged sea shanty with helix credit. You can pay to unlock the rest of shanty )
 

JohnnyFootball

GerAlt-Right. Ciriously.
Jan 20, 2014
12,200
7,987
1,035
Why didn't they just keep it as a Black Flag expansion? I sure wanted more of that game, it was brilliant. My son has recently gotten into it as well.
Ever played Assassins Creed Rogue? If no, play that one now. It’s Black Flag 2
 

Calverz

Member
Apr 27, 2014
2,294
4,284
745
I forget about this game. I wonder if seeing the success of sea of thieves made them rethink about parts, ideas of their game. Just a thought
 

Cyberpunkd

Member
Dec 16, 2020
1,589
2,324
455
“Nobody knew what the fuck they were doing,” said one former developer.
I hate comments like this - then WTF don't you step in and try to rein in the project, and probably get yourself promoted / fired in the process? What happened to showing fucking initiative?
 

Hendrick's

Member
Jan 7, 2014
9,453
16,579
995
I hate comments like this - then WTF don't you step in and try to rein in the project, and probably get yourself promoted / fired in the process? What happened to showing fucking initiative?
Unless you are in a management position, not much you can really do.
 
Oct 26, 2018
21,653
30,212
835
Too bad S&B will likely end up a shit game. That first trailer they showed years ago looked sweet. It was like a grittier version of Sea of Thieves + some Assassins Creed ship battles.
 

Ozzy Onya A2Z

Member
Apr 16, 2012
10,227
4,323
1,100
Melbourne, Australia
Ever played Assassins Creed Rogue? If no, play that one now. It’s Black Flag 2

Nope, I have still only played Black Flag. I'll check it out, thanks.

Too bad S&B will likely end up a shit game. That first trailer they showed years ago looked sweet. It was like a grittier version of Sea of Thieves + some Assassins Creed ship battles.

A mature version of SoT had me looking forward to S&B as well. It also seemed a bit faster in ship battles and less escort style land missions etc.