Skull & Bones continues to sail rocky waters as co-director exits

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Skull & Bones co-director Antoine Henry has left Ubisoft. An announcement was posted on Henry’s LinkedIn profile as a departure notice.

“Goodbye Ubisoft! After nearly 15 years, today was my last day,” reads the post. “I’m thankful for the people I’ve met and what they brought me professionally and personally. Hopefully I was able to give back a little bit. On to new exciting adventures very soon!”

Henry setting sail is just one of many worrying developments in the history of Skull & Bones. The pirate themed adventure was announced back in 2017 at E3 as the first new IP in development at Ubisoft’s Singapore studio. The development and planned launch of Skull & Bones is part of a deal with the Singaporean government.

In exchange for letting Ubisoft set an office up in Singapore with generous subsidies, Ubisoft is required to launch an original, brand new IP from the Singapore studio. The outcome of this partnership would ideally result in local talent being trained up to start a new game development revolution in the country, and the hope that they would take the reins of the studio in the future.

Skull and Bones

Unfortunately, years later the game hasn’t come out yet and is stuck in what seems to be development hell. Plenty of management issues are plaguing the workforce. “Just having people working for four or five years on something that doesn’t move forward, that destroys anyone,” said one former developer.

Some traction was seen last year with the game’s new creative director, Elisabeth Pellen of Ubisoft Singapore. It’s said that under her leadership, development has entered into a “reboot” of sorts with a “new direction” inspired by the storytelling of Fortnite. Skull & Bones is now slated for release within the next fiscal year beginning April 2022.

There’s not much else to say about Henry’s departure, and we wouldn’t want to speculate about the circumstances around it. But let it suffice to say that his exit may be one of several possible setbacks that continue to trouble Skull & Bones. Now on its eighth year of development, it remains to be seen whether it, like other Ubisoft projects like Beyond Good & Evil 2, will ever see the light of day.

Sources: Kotaku, VGC, LinkedIn