Ubisoft's high-seas adventure might finally be taking shape.
Skull and Bones

Ubisoft announced Skull and Bones what feels like a lifetime ago at E3 2017. The game began development in 2013, starting first as a spin-off of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag before becoming its own stand-alone experience. Over these past nine years, Ubisoft restarted development several times, delayed the game indefinitely, and exceeded its budget several times over.

Skull and Bones was expected to be released in late 2018 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It then got pushed into 2019, then 2020, then into the April 2021-March 2022 window. Last year, Ubisoft said that Skull and Bones would again be pushed back to the April 2022-March 2023 fiscal year.

Finally, after all this time, it looks like this game might actually become a reality. An official ESRB rating for the game surfaced, which gives the game an M (Mature 17+) rating, but does not include any sort of release date.

The possibility of Skull and Bones actually being released soon-ish started to come together in March 2022. Ubisoft had put out a notice that they were looking for playtesters. In April of this year, Ubisoft told fans to stay tuned. This optimistic message was made right around the same time that a six-minute-long video was leaked to Reddit showing the introduction to the game.

Last we knew, Skull and Bones will have players engaging in naval combat as they try to become a famous pirate captain. You will take on missions, destroy rivals, and try to plunder as much loot as possible. There will also supposedly be some on-land adventures to engage with. You'll supposedly be able to visit settlements and visit brothels or deliver goods like poppies to opium dens.

In addition to the recent addition to the ESRB site, Skull and Bones was also given classification by Australia's Classification Board in May. The full summary of the ESRB rating can be found at the bottom of this post.

While we still do not have an actual release date yet for Skull and Bones, these ratings appearing are usually a pretty good sign that it might be coming soon.

Rating Summary
This is a naval-combat action game in which players assume the role of a shipwrecked outcast on a journey to become a pirate captain. As players take on missions, they can explore settlements and engage in dramatic sea battles. From a first-person perspective, players command their crew to shoot cannons at rivals (e.g., warships, merchant ships, settlements/forts) in attempts to obtain loot/goods. Enemy ships can be rammed and boarded, resulting in brief cutscenes of crew members shooting or slashing at each other. Combat is highlighted by gunfire/cannon fire, explosions, and blood-splatter effects. Some territories depict corpses impaled on spikes or hanging from nooses; beaches may depict corpses and large bloodstains in the aftermath of battle. Settlements occasionally contain brothels and prostitutes that call out to players when approached (e.g., “Come spend your coin all over me”; “The price of my a*se goes up tomorrow, so buy a piece today!”). Players can also engage in quests to bring poppies to opium dens, which are depicted with patrons lying on couches smoking pipes. The words “f**k” and “sh*te” appear in the dialogue.