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Ubisoft's biggest 2022 game delayed for sixth time in five years

Added 09-28-22 03:10:04pm EST - “Other delays out of 2022 leave Ubisoft with an unusually quiet holiday season.” - Arstechnica.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Arstechnica.com: “Ubisoft’s biggest 2022 game delayed for sixth time in five years”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

2022 is turning out to be a substantial rebuilding year for game publisher Ubisoft, as its holiday 2022 release slate of major multi-platform games has now been all but wiped clean.

The bad news came on Wednesday when Ubisoft again delayed the launch of its open-world pirate adventure Skull and Bones, this time past its previously suggested November 8 launch date on PC and current-gen consoles. The game maker confirmed the delay to March 9, 2023, after an independent report from Kotaku suggested that S&B's latest rounds of pre-release testing pointed to a stable-but-boring experience for its online multiplayer modes and noted issues with the game's "progression" systems.

Skull and Bones debuted at E3 2017 as an apparent build-out of the third-person, open-seas pirate adventuring found in mid-'10s Assassin's Creed games—albeit with no formal ties to that other Ubisoft-helmed series. As originally announced, players would directly control a pirate ship's captain and issue orders to AI-controlled crewmates to either engage in a solo campaign or connect online for open-seas combat with both PvE (fight the computer) and PvP (fight real players) elements.

However, even as the game approached its previously confirmed November 2022 launch window, Ubisoft had yet to publish a clear video demonstration of how the final game might look to play—meaning, no direct-feed footage of players' viewpoints, in-game HUD elements, or demonstrations of how different modes will work. In the years since S&B's initial announcement, Microsoft and Rare's own online, open-world pirate series Sea of Thieves has racked up player counts and accolades while delivering substantial free patches and updates—all of which have rendered our initial criticisms of that 2018 game moot.

Ahead of S&B's fall 2018 launch window, Ubisoft began rowing the game's release date farther out to sea. Shortly before E3 2018, the game's retail launch was pushed into "fiscal year 2020," only to get bumped from that release calendar into "sometime after March 2020." This was followed by conference call mentions over the years that delayed S&B's launch into FY 2022, then FY 2023, before finally settling on its November 8 launch date earlier this year.

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