A multiplayer expansion to Assassin's Creed: Black Flag. An open sea survival game. A session-based multiplayer Deathmatch. Skis and Bones, from Ubisoft Singapore, has been around a lot over the last decade, with current and past developers describing the eight years of mismanagement that prevented Skull and Bones from jumping into a new Kotaku.
In the long report, the developers describe a game that never knew what it wanted to be. Once planned as a simple multiplayer mode for Black Flag, Skull and Bones was transformed into a standalone project, but the look of this project changed frequently.
Every time Skull and Bones changed course, nine months of work in design, decoration and art would have to be redone. Fundamental questions such as whether you play as an individual pirate or the ship itself came back up, and excessive time was spent on prototypes that never came off the ground. The version of the game shown at E3 2018 and 2019, a competitive fighter ship with a Division-style exploration zone, it was eventually scrapped.
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“Every time we received feedback from Paris, they just freaked out and changed everything, and then changed the people who worked there, and that happened several times,” a former developer told Kotaku.
All of this is in addition to recent reports denouncing Ubisoft's abusive work culture, reports that saw Skull and Bones managing director Hugues Ricour being expelled from the studio. The developers describe managers who would enter the project with a complete change of direction, surrounding themselves with “yes men” to avoid hearing comments from the developers themselves before selling heads to Paris with unreasonable expectations.
"The toxic culture that pervades the Singapore studio is nowhere responsible for most of the production issues [reboots, rebrands and reboots] that Skull & Bones have suffered over a decade."
Despite these problems, Ubisoft is still determined to get Skull and Bones out of the port. A current developer described the game as "too big to fail," comparing it to U.S. banks during the 2008 crisis, with a former developer adding that if any other publisher worked on Skull and Bones, "already he would have been killed ten times. "
In a statement to Kotaku, Ubisoft explained that the current version of Skull and Bones has just gone alpha and is on track, but also blamed any kind of bad morale of the studio on this type of 39; reports. The editor also reaffirmed that he had made changes to address his toxic culture in the workplace, although according to a French report The Telegram, many developers believe that nothing has changed significantly since last year.
"The Skull & Bones team is proud of the work they have done on the project since the last update with production going through Alpha, and we are happy to share more details when the time is right. That said, any unfounded speculation about the game or decisions being made only works to demoralize the team that is working very hard to develop an ambitious new franchise that meets the expectations of our players. "
Over the past year, we have made significant changes to our policies and processes to create a safer and more inclusive workplace and give our teams the opportunity to create games that reflect the diversity of the world in which we live. "