Ubisoft's pirate-themed Skull and Bones broadside cannon fire screenshot

Ubisoft's pirate-themed game Skull and Bones was originally announced in 2017 and pinned for a 2018 launch - right on schedule to compete with Rare's ambitious Sea of Thieves. As you're likely well aware, things didn't go exactly according to plan and so Skull and Bones was first pushed back to 2019, then 2020, then 2021, then 2022, and now unfortunately, 2023 as well.

"Our team is hard at work polishing and balancing the experience ahead of the worldwide launch. As a result, we’ve made the tough decision to move our release date to March 9, 2023," reads the brief update. "We’re very eager for you all to get your hands on Skull and Bones and dive in headfirst to the dangerous and exciting world of building your own pirate empire. To give you the best possible experience we’ve decided to take a little more time to make sure we can deliver exactly that."

"For the most eager of you, we are also very happy to announce that we will hold an open beta of the game in the near future. We’ll share more news on how you can sign up to register soon, so keep your spyglasses trained on our social media for more news and announcements."

While I'm usually a big proponent of delays as getting a fully polished game is infinitely better than a rushed mess, I can't say I'm exactly hopeful about Skull and Bones' future. At this point it's fairly obvious that it has gone through development hell and that Ubisoft is scrambling to finally push it out, which rarely bodes well for a game's quality. All you need to do is look through the graveyard of similarly troubled projects like BioWare's Anthem or PlatinumGames' Babylon's Fall to see where this kind of road usually leads to.

That said, there's always a chance Ubisoft can surprise everyone with Skull and Bones and release a truly revolutionary pirate game. So while I wouldn't recommend pre-ordering Skull and Bones, I would definitely keep an eye on it moving forward as no matter what happens, it's bound to be interesting!

You can learn more about Skull and Bones, as well as follow any developer updates, over at the official website. Enjoy, and I'll make sure to let you know once Skull and Bones finally launches on March 9th, 2023.