A new earnings report from Ubisoft has revealed that Skull & Bones has been delayed until April 2019 at the earliest.
Fortunately, the delay doesn’t seem to be due to problems with development. It sounds like Ubisoft’s back catalog and new releases are selling so well—due mostly, we’re assuming, to games like Assassin’s Creed Origins, Ghost Recon Wildlands and Rainbow Six Siege—that the publisher has some financial wiggle room and doesn’t need to rush a new IP to market. At least, that’s according to Ubisoft’s official company line.
Here’s the statement from Ubisoft:
In line with previous practices and in view of the acceleration of our digital transformation, growth in back-catalog sales and excellent momentum of recent releases, Ubisoft has decided to give itself more time to develop Skull & Bones to offer players an even more engaging experience. Skull & Bones is now scheduled for release in 2019-20.
Ubisoft previously announced in an earlier quarterly earnings call that it had four major titles launching by early 2019, naming only The Crew 2 and Skull & Bones by name. Ubisoft has amended that statement to say only that three of its major titles are launching this fiscal year, and those include The Crew 2, The Division 2 (which Ubisoft recently announced), and an “unannounced franchise title.” These titles represent “19 million units” sold as opposed to the previously predicted 23 million units when Skull & Bones still ranked among those releases.
Our best guess is that the “unannounced franchise title” is either a new Splinter Cell game or Watch Dogs 3.
The latter has seen several stealth teases in recent weeks and seems more likely to fill in the gap-year between Assassin’s Creed titles, but hopes for a new Splinter Cell recently gained traction following a Ghost Recon Wildlands limited-time crossover event that featured series protagonist Sam Fisher, not to mention a potential leak from Walmart Canada. (Funny enough, Watch Dogs 3, which is all but confirmed at this point, wasn’t on that Walmart Canada list).
We’ll find out which franchise sequel we’re getting soon enough, as E3 2018 is just around the corner and Ubisoft’s already nailed down a time for its press conference.