Skull and Bones hits rough seas before PS5 launch as director leaves

The Skull and Bones drama for 2023 involves a crew unionizing and a third captain lost at sea for Ubisoft's upcoming long-in-development pirate game for PS5.

Skull and Bones hits rough seas before PS5 launch as director leaves
Kes Eylers-Stephenson

Kes Eylers-Stephenson


Forget those Skull and Bones trophies for a while because the Skull and Bones drama for 2023 is reignited! That's right, Ubisoft's beleaguered pirate game is set for release in the 2023-2024 fiscal year, possibly putting it out of range of the upcoming PS5 games for 2023 given we only have a few months of the year left — but especially now troubled seas might push it back further.

Ubisoft can't bail Skull and Bones trouble fast enough

We had such high hopes the pirate game would actually release after the Skull and Bones PS5 gameplay, but once again it looks off the cards. We must turn to Kotaku who have clearly got some great contacts inside developer Ubisoft Singapore. They report a doubling billing of trouble, with it fronted by the loss of the third creative director on the project Elisabeth Pellen.
“Five years ago, Elisabeth Pellen went to Ubisoft Singapore with a mission to reboot the creative direction of Skull and Bones,” Kotaku reported of Ubisoft's official response. “She succeeded, and the Skull and Bones team is now fulfilling her vision to deliver a unique naval action RPG experience to our players.”

However, the outlet states two anonymous sources have suggested that Pellen was supposed to be in place until the end of 2023 despite Ubisoft's claim that "it’s not uncommon for a creative director to move on to a new project or role.”

Pellen started with the team as creative director in 2017 — the game went through two others since it started development in 2013 — and had seemingly steadied the ship to get it to its impending PS5 release. Pellen is now back in Paris at Ubisoft's headquarters as a "directeur editorial online." Under her tenure, the team shifted from focussing on making Skull and Bones about multiplayer battles to making it more of a pirate action RPG with multiplayer components. The latest beta received a mixed reception.
However, a secondary issue has been brewing for the Ubisoft Singapore team according to the report, however. Apparently, the country’s Creative Media and Publishing Union (CMPU) has been on a recruitment drive at the studio. Labor unions have been on the rise in the US recently, so it follows that game developers attached to Western publishers would follow suit.

"A ballot exercise is being conducted this week among eligible team members in the studio to determine whether formal recognition should be granted,” a statement from a Ubisoft spokesperson states. The CMPU declined to comment on its recruitment drive.

Well, that is a whole load of shifting sands for the game over the course of its ten years in development. We don't know if it will measure up to one of the best Assassin's Creed games and its buccaneering ancestor Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag, but we really hope it does! What do you think of the news? Is this a storm in a port? Wait, that's not right... or is it? Get in the comments and we'll see you down there.
Written by Kes Eylers-Stephenson
Editor Kes is our resident expert in PlayStation and other gaming news. He writes about PS5 exclusives like The Last of Us and Horizon, PS Plus news, and his favorite games — The Witcher, Assassin’s Creed, and God of War — before an evening swim.
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