Skull and Bones rebooted as a live service game, says report

Ubisoft’s E3-style stream this weekend had the publisher’s string of hits — Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, and Watch Dogs — but was missing more than a few of its other titles. While Rayman was absent and Sam Fisher only made a single questionable cameo, Skull and Bones was one of the other games missing from the lineup. And according to a new report, we now know that it is because the game has undergone a heavy reboot and is moving “away from the premium box model of Ubisoft’s other open-world games.”

This report comes from VGC’s sources who are familiar with the matter. These sources told the outlet that Ubisoft Singapore was having trouble finding a niche for the nautical title and decided to pivot it to a live service game that will “place more focus on collaboration between players” through a steady stream of updates. This seems in line with other Ubisoft titles, but it appears as though inspiration is coming from outside the team as well.

One unnamed person in the article stated that Epic’s approach to Fortnite has served as some sort of a basis for Skull and Bones‘ new design after its reboot last year. Telling an evolving story with the community is Ubisoft’s way to hopefully drawn in a less competitive crowd. While Fortnite is obviously a big influence, it’s also hard not to draw comparisons to Sea of Thieves, another ship-themed game that has drastically evolved over time.

However, the phrasing stating that Skull and Bones is going to “move away from the premium box model” implies that it won’t be a full-priced product, given the “premium” part of that quote. That’s still unclear, but given more credence when it’s being compared to a free-to-play game like Fortnite.

This reboot has also come with some shakeups within the company as well (that are unrelated to the current harassment-oriented shakeups). Former editorial VP Elisabeth Pellen is now the creative director of the title, according to VGC. She’s been at the company for quite some time and worked on games like Peter Jackson’s King KongSplinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow, XIII (which she wrote and directed) just to name a few.