Skull and Bones Reportedly Hasn’t Reached a 1M Playercount and Ubisoft Is Not Expecting to Recoup Its Roughly $200 Million Development Costs

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Image: Ubisoft

Skull and Bones hasn’t managed to break the 1 million player count yet, something that most AAA titles can usually do within days of being launched. Exclusive sources have shared some interesting details with Tom Henderson (Insider Gaming) that Ubisoft’s first title priced at $70 is currently sitting at around the 850,000 player count mark. This figure includes those who are playing it for free with an 8-hour trial period. Per an unnamed internal source on the development team, Henderson was told “I think we all know this is a $30-$40 game at best, but it’s not in our control to determine those things.”

A long journey

Skull and Bones was released on February 16 on PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and Amazon Luna. While that may only be just a couple of weeks ago it has been in development for roughly a decade and, after many delays resulting in pushed-back release windows, is said to have cost Ubisoft in the range of $200 million to develop. It’s also been reported that the publisher isn’t expecting to recoup its development costs back.

The game has had a significant amount of media coverage throughout the years regarding its progress so it wouldn’t be a far stretch to expect more in terms of a larger player count. That aside, Skull and Bones has had to deal with many changes during its development cycle, and at this point, only those who’ve been there from the start, nearly 10 years ago, know how much has been scrapped, redone, and simply started over from scratch. According to Henderson’s report, thousands of employees in eleven different studios oversaw its development.

Post-launch reactions

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Skull and Bones hasn’t managed to cross the 1 million player count mark yet since it currently has a Metacritic score of 57. The numbers only get worse with a user score of 3.6 which is ranked from over 800 user ratings. It can’t be helped that the game is constantly being compared to another Ubisoft, Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag, which had been a huge hit for the publisher and was well received for its sea battles and pirating adventures. It’s a given, that even though while that game was released in 2013, many are wondering how Skull and Bones ended up being as it is.

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Peter Brosdahl
As a child of the 70’s I was part of the many who became enthralled by the video arcade invasion of the 1980’s. Saving money from various odd jobs I purchased my first computer from a friend of my dad, a used Atari 400, around 1982. Eventually it would end up being a lifelong passion of upgrading and modifying equipment that, of course, led into a career in IT support.

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