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Ubisoft Delays Pirate Game ‘Skull & Bones’ to 2019-2020

Ubisoft is delaying the launch of its upcoming online pirate game “Skull & Bones,” the company said in an earnings report on Thursday. It’s now giving the game a 2019-2020 release window.

Ubisoft first revealed the ambitious project at its E3 2017 press conference. It’s a multiplayer action game where players can choose a captain, establish a hideout, recruit a crew, and battle for oceanic supremacy in a variety of game modes. It promises both PvE and PvP combat, ship customization, and solo or co-op gameplay. It’s a similar concept to Rare’s “Sea of Thieves,” which launched on PC and Xbox One in March 2018. The two games are stylistically different, however. “Sea of Thieves” is colorful and whimsical, while “Skull & Bones” is going for a grittier, realistic look. Ubisoft said it’s decided to give itself more time to develop the game to “offer players an even more engaging experience.”

Skull & Bones” was originally scheduled for release in Fall 2018 for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC, with enhancements for the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X.

Ubisoft claimed higher-than-expected performance in Thursday’s earnings report. Total annual sales are up 18.6% year-over-year thanks to heavy-hitting AAA titles like “Far Cry 5” — the publisher’s second biggest release ever — and “Assassin’s Creed: Origins.” Older games are also doing well. “Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege” has more than 30 million registered players, while “Tom Clancy’s The Division” has more than 20 million. “Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands” has 10 million registered players.

Additionally, Ubisoft said annual back-catalog sales are up 27%, while mobile revenue is up 66%.

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