Things didn’t go smoothly for Skull and Bones (opens in new tab), Ubisoft’s often-delayed and much-mocked game of piracy on the high seas, which still has no release date for those collecting points. It’s fair to say that what little we’ve seen of the game so far hasn’t made a huge impression, but Chief Financial Officer Frederick Duguet believes that will change once we all get a glimpse of an “improved version” of the Throwing the game will remain behind closed doors for the time being.
Skull and Bones came up during the Q&A portion of Ubisoft’s quarterly financial call when an investment analyst asked about the expected sales needed for the game to turn a profit after such a long period of development. What particularly made the question stand out was a comment at the end, not often heard on resolutely polite finance calls: “I’m asking because I’ve seen the reviews and they don’t look particularly strong.”
It’s not clear which “reviews” the caller was referring to, since Skull and Bones has apparently not yet been reviewed. Some playtesters were reportedly unimpressed with what they saw of the game, and while we’re not among them (meaning we haven’t had a chance to get our hands on it yet), we’re not revealing the first gameplay either (opens in new tab) 2022 another January developer stream (opens in new tab) Demonstrating new “narrative gameplay” blew my mind.
Regardless of the details, there’s no denying that the overall response to the game hasn’t been very positive so far. But Duguet thinks opinions will change once we see the yet-to-be-revealed improvements the developers have made to the game.
“We said in January that we were very happy with the playtest that we saw in early January, so we have a very much improved version to show to players who haven’t seen it yet,” Duguet said during the call . “So that’s really what we’re going to use over the next month to add momentum to the game.”
To be honest I think there is a lot of optimism. Skull and Bones really doesn’t look like a very interesting game to me: there are a lot of menus, timers and button clicks, but I don’t see a way to just go out and rampage with the boys, which is what the daring life is all about. Can this very fundamental aspect of gameplay be tweaked or tweaked enough to make me suddenly stop thinking about Sea of Thieves – especially in such a short amount of time?
I have my doubts, but hopefully we’ll get a better idea of it soon. Ubisoft declined to comment further on what exactly it “will be using over the next month,” as Duguet put it, but thankfully that means those public playtests (opens in new tab) we’ve been waiting for is finally happening – or at least that playtesters will be able to properly share their experiences with the game.
Unfortunately, today’s call didn’t bring us any news on the launch date: the most recent delay, announced in January, has pushed the game into Ubisoft’s fiscal year 2023-24, meaning it will be released sometime after April 1st.
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