Ubisoft has announced yet another delay for its swashbuckling action-adventure game Skull and Bones – but it's not all bad news.
Skull and Bones' release date has been pushed back to March 9, 2023, but Ubisoft has announced an open beta to smooth things over. In the past month, some PC players (including me) got into a playtest with a very strict NDA, but the open beta will throw open the doors for everyone and presumably across platforms.
We were expecting Skull and Bones to release on November 8, so it's a significant delay. That said, the holiday season is a busy period for game releases, and competition is stiff. But with God of War Ragnarok, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and Pokémon Scarlet and Violet all out around the same time, perhaps pushing the date back is for the best.
It's gonna get beta
Skull and Bones was first announced in 2017 and should've been released alongside the similarly nautical-themed Sea of Thieves the following year (which had a delay of its own). It was going to launch on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, but is now coming exclusively to PC and current-gen consoles.
Ubisoft insists game development is complete, and the extra time "will be used to further polish and balance" using the feedback collected from the Technical tests and Insider Program. Both of which have been going on over the past couple of weeks.
We're now looking at a total of five years of delays, but unlike the MIA Beyond Good and Evil 2, at least we know the game is sailing towards a release date, even if the path is choppy. I can't divulge my experience with the playtest, but a Skull and Bones open beta is a wise choice.
An open beta can also keep people interested in Skull and Bones over the five months of waiting. Enough big hitters are coming out in that time that Ubisoft's pirate game could easily get pushed to the back of our collective consciousness. If the game is as good as Ubisoft believes it to be, the open beta will do a great job of hooking people in and drumming up some pre-orders.
Ubisoft hasn't shared the details of the Skull and Bones open beta just yet, so we'll keep our eyes scanning the horizon and let you know as soon as they're announced.
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Shabana has been writing about games for almost a decade now, as well as covering tech, politics, food, and other random tidbits at Gizmodo UK. She's stepped outside of news every now and then to write game guides, and always appreciates a DM if she's helped get you out of a pickle. During her time freelancing, you may have spotted her words at VG24/7, GamesRadar, and IGN. She's also held the position of news editor at Gizmodo UK, T3, and The Sun Online.