Ubisoft’s long-awaited and oft-delayed Skull and Bones has received a rating in South Korea, suggesting its release could be on the horizon.
The rating for the Skull and Bones PC version was first spotted on South Korea’s Game Rating and Administration Committee website (opens in new tab) by Twitter user @the_marmolade (via VGC (opens in new tab)). According to the site, the game’s rating was filed on May 12 and it appears that it’s been classified as a Mature game and “not available for youth”. We realize a rated 'arrr' joke would be entirely unoriginal here which is why we're absolutely not making it. No way.
As far as details about the game that are provided by the rating, there’s nothing particularly in-depth. Describing it as “An open-world action game set in the Indian Ocean in the golden age of pirates as a background”, the listing cites instances of drug use, drinking and smoking in the game as the reasoning behind the decision.
That Skull and Bones is now at the stage of being rated suggests its development is coming along and, perhaps, nearing completion. This comes only a couple of days after Ubisoft said in a financial briefing (opens in new tab) that it expects the game to launch in this financial year, so before April 2023, without giving an exact release date.
We’re not sure when we can expect our next official update on the progress of Skull and Bones, or when we’ll see a fresh look at it. However, Summer Game Fest is approaching and it’s sure to bring plenty of exciting reveals and updates from publishers. It could, therefore, be an ideal time for Ubisoft to give players a look at what it’s got up its sleeve for the rest of the financial year, though Ubisoft is yet to announce any plans.
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Analysis: Where has Skull and Bones been?
Skull and Bones hasn’t had the smoothest development, it’s safe to say. After being revealed all the way back in 2017, its release has been pushed back multiple times amidst reports of a reboot mid-development.
Indeed, in a September 2020 update, Ubisoft Singapore creative director Elisabeth Pellen said the game was being made with a “new vision” and, back in February 2022, Ubisoft stated that Skull and Bones is now a "multiplayer first" game, after early E3 presentations had made some mentions of single-player elements.
More recently, in April a few minutes of gameplay footage was leaked (via VGC (opens in new tab)). Ubisoft appeared to respond (opens in new tab) by telling fans to “keep your eyes on the horizon”. At the end of April, Tom Henderson also reported (opens in new tab) invites for Technical Playtests being sent out. Overall, it’s all looking pretty promising that Skull and Bones could make that pre-April 2023 release.
It certainly feels like Skull and Bones has been a long-time coming. We went hands-on with the game all the way back at E3 2017 and 2018 and had a pretty good time it at both shows. Naturally, it’ll have changed since then so we’re looking forward to seeing what Ubisoft has planned.