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Skull & Bones suffers fifth delay in five years

But an open beta's on the horizon for the three people who still care about it

Ubisoft’s much-delayed shanty ‘em up Skull & Bones has been dashed by another four months, pushing its release from November to March 2023. The announcement came as the devs revealed that the game will receive an open beta period in “the near future”. Details of how to sign up for the beta are expected soon.

This time, Ubisoft said the delay is necessary to give players “the best possible experience”. Although development is complete, the extra four months gives the devs a chance to "polish and balance" the game using feedback from recent playtests.

Skull & Bones looks very cool, but will we ever get to play it?Watch on YouTube

Skull & Bones is in development at Ubisoft Singapore and was first shown off at E3 2017, back before I got all my gold teeth and adopted my macaw, Polly. It was originally meant to release in autumn 2018, but it’s been delayed so many times it might as well be the subject of a comical sea shanty. Last we heard, it had been due out this November.

Graham scaled the crow’s nest just last month to see what options PC players will get, and found Skull & Bones will support 4K, ray tracing and an uncapped FPS. There’s also the ‘clutter’ slider, which might be useful if you’re easily bothered by such things like I am.

We’ve run two previews of the game over the years, with Adam captaining his vessel shortly after the game was announced, and Alice Bee following up with another look at the game this summer.

Alice couldn’t help but compare Skull & Bones to that other piratical live-service game, Sea Of Thieves, finding Ubisoft’s take needed more faffing about. “You can see, I think, the legacy of previous rounds of development in everything they've tried to cram in here,” she said. “Although I like the ideas of mutiny, the more real-world setting and the enhanced customisation, what Skull And Bones really needs before release is probably a ruthless edit from an impartial pair of scissors.”

Barring any further delays, Skull & Bones will now set sail on March 9th, 2023. It’s heading to PC on the Epic Games Store and Ubisoft Store for £50/$60/€60. You’ll also be able to play on PlayStation 5, current-gen Xboxes, Google Stadia and Amazon Luna.

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