Ubisoft’s Cranium And Bones Delays: The Full Decade-Lengthy Saga

Deal Score0
Deal Score0

Picture: Ubisoft / Kotaku

Skull And Bones began life as a multiplayer-focused growth for 2013’s wonderful Murderer’s Creed IV: Black Flag. Then it expanded into an even bigger, MMO-like pirate sport of its personal. A decade later, and following its 2017 reveal and a number of delays, Ubisoft’s on-line pirate sim remains to be lacking. And simply yesterday, Cranium and Bones was delayed once more with no new particular launch date shared. So how did we get right here?

Cranium And Bones was first revealed to the general public by way of a giant and splashy E3 2017 presentation full with gameplay and cinematic trailers. It was clear Ubisoft had rather a lot invested within the challenge. As of 2021, it has reportedly cost Ubisoft $120 million. But some workers who labored on the sport mentioned that the sport barely existed when it was proven off and since then it’s been reworked and altered time and again as its builders attempt to determine what this sport is and the way it will play. Ubisoft is at the moment promoting it as an internet pirate sport with a deal with fight and exploration, which may be a enjoyable expertise. However with every delay, it appears much less doubtless that the ultimate product shall be well worth the wait.

Cranium And Bones Revealed, First Delay


As beforehand talked about, Cranium and Bones (then stylized as Cranium & Bones) was first revealed by way of a number of trailers and movies during Ubisoft’s 2017 E3 press conference. Lots of people appreciated the pirate boat stuff from Murderer’s Creed IV: Black Flag and this seemed like a sport made up of simply all that nice boat stuff. When it was first introduced at E3, Ubisoft gave it a 2018 launch date–which solely turns into funnier and funnier with every delay.

In Might 2018, a couple of 12 months after its reveal, Ubisoft delayed Skull and Bones into its 2019-2020 fiscal year which ran between April 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020. “In keeping with earlier practices and in view of the acceleration of our digital transformation, progress in back-catalog gross sales, and wonderful momentum of current releases, Ubisoft has determined to provide itself extra time to develop Cranium & Bones to supply gamers an much more participating expertise,” defined Ubisoft in regards to the delay.

Cranium And Bones Returns To E3, Second Delay

Following that first delay, Ubisoft returned to E3 2018 and confirmed off extra of Cranium and Bones, this time presenting a PVE expertise referred to as “Looking Grounds.” This model of the sport and the earlier model proven at E3 2017 was ultimately scrapped too, in keeping with our personal reporting. Ubisoft then delayed the game in May 2019, saying that it might not ship within the 2019-2020 fiscal 12 months, pushing its launch date to someday after March 2020.


The official Cranium and Bone’s Twitter account confirmed the delay on May 15, 2019. “We’re going to batten down the hatches and push again on the sport’s arrival,” tweeted Ubisoft. “It is a difficult information [sic] for us all, but it surely’s what’s wanted to make Cranium & Bones as superior as it may be!”

Cranium And Bones Goes Lacking, Third Delay

After that Might delay, Cranium and Bones went a bit radio silent and even skipped E3 2019. The staff was apparently going heads all the way down to deal with growing the sport and Ubisoft had different huge video games to promote, hype, and launch. Nonetheless, when it did resurface it was solely extra dangerous information.

On October 24, 2019, about 4 months after its earlier delay, Cranium and Bones was delayed once more alongside just a few different huge Ubisoft video games, like Watch Canines Legion and Rainbow Six Quarantine. Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot confirmed the information in a convention name with traders and mentioned the pirate sport wouldn’t launch till someday after April 2021.

Cranium And Bones Lastly Will get A Launch Date, Fourth Delay

On May 11, 2021, Ubisoft execs as soon as once more bought on a convention name and as soon as once more needed to clarify that sure, the delayed pirates sport was as soon as once more…delayed. This time the sport slipped from someday after April 2021 to someday between April 2022 and Might 2023. That is what Ubisoft’s CFO Frédérick Duguet needed to say in regards to the delay:

We strongly consider within the staff’s artistic imaginative and prescient and so they have been given an more and more bold mandate for the sport. Manufacturing led by [Ubisoft] Singapore has been advancing properly over the previous 12 months and the promise is healthier than ever. The extra time will permit the staff to completely ship on its imaginative and prescient.

In July 2022, Ubisoft lastly nailed down a particular launch date for its on-line pirate sport. It introduced that Cranium and Bones, after quite a few delays, was going to launch on November, 8 2022 for PlayStation 5, Xbox Collection X/S, Google Stadia, and PC. This additionally meant that the sport was skipping the final era of consoles, which have been about 4 years outdated when Cranium and Bones was introduced in 2017, however in 2022 have been almost a decade outdated.

Cranium And Bones Will get A New Launch Date, Fifth Delay

It appeared like perhaps, simply perhaps, Ubisoft’s troubled pirate sim was going to launch, however then on September 28, 2022, Ubisoft confirmed our personal reporting and announced that the game was indeed getting delayed, again. The writer’s new launch date of March 9, 2023 pushed the sport out of 2022. The delay adopted a technical take a look at in September that didn’t go nice, with gamers reportedly claiming the development felt shallow. Right here’s what the devs needed to say in regards to the delay:

Our staff is tough at work sprucing and balancing the expertise forward of the worldwide launch. In consequence, we’ve made the robust determination to maneuver our launch date to March 9, 2023. We’re very looking forward to you all to get your palms on Cranium and Bones and dive in headfirst to the harmful and thrilling world of constructing your individual pirate empire. To provide the absolute best expertise we’ve determined to take just a little extra time to ensure we will ship precisely that.

Cranium And Bones No Longer Has a Particular Launch Date, Sixth Delay

All of that results in this week. Yesterday, Ubisoft announced that, yet again, it had delayed the troubled Skull and Bones and this time it didn’t give a brand new particular launch date. As a substitute, the sport is at the moment scheduled to launch in Ubisoft’s fiscal 12 months of 2023-2024.

“Whereas Cranium and Bones is now full, we’re utilizing the remaining time till our launch to leverage suggestions from our ongoing Technical Assessments and upcoming open beta to shine and stability the expertise,” a spokesperson for Ubisoft instructed Kotaku in an e mail. “To completely ship on this launch we’re leveraging the total energy of co-developing studios already concerned within the growth course of, together with Ubisoft Paris studio. Ubisoft Singapore stays the lead studio on Cranium and Bones and the staff is working full velocity on the sport expertise and the event of its strong post-launch content material.”

All instructed, that’s a tough path to stroll and I’m not assured it’s over. It appears unfathomable that Ubisoft would delay Cranium and Bones once more, however at this level, nothing appears inconceivable.

If Cranium and Bones does launch this 12 months, it will likely be a decade since growth began on the sport. Since then, it has been delayed six instances, appeared at a number of completely different Ubisoft occasions and E3 showcases, and has even outlived Google’s streaming service, Stadia, which it was as soon as purported to launch on.

In the present day, in early 2023, it’s onerous to not really feel dangerous for the numerous devs who’ve poured years of their lives into this sport and nonetheless don’t have something tangible to point out for it. Hopefully, this all wraps up with the pleased ending of a great sport, and never the kind of disappointment that results in servers being shut off quickly after launch.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Enable registration in settings - general