Skull and Bones player count suggests it’s already dead in the water

Skull and Bones player count suggests it’s already dead in the water
Images via Ubisoft

Written by 

Joseph Kime

Published 

23rd Feb 2024 10:55

After years of waiting and supposedly taking its cues from the beloved Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, Skull and Bones made some big promises. Bigger, perhaps, than Ubisoft could ever have delivered on.

Providing an open-world piracy simulator that pits you against other players and their ships in a way that is neither quiet nor overwhelming is a hard balance to strike, but the fact that Ubisoft was confident enough to call it the first AAAA game and charge premium prices implied that we were going to get one of the best gaming experiences of our lives.

There are no prizes for guessing how that turned out, and now, in the wake of controversies, development hell and general apathy, the gaming community has voted against Skull and Bones with their playtime.

Skull and Bones' player count has fallen flat on its face

A ship sails between two islands in Skull and Bones.
Click to enlarge

A new report from Insider Gaming claims that sources at Ubisoft have revealed a player count that proves that Skull and Bones may have sunk before it could sail.

Players seem to be engaged and are putting in hours at a time when they actually do play Skull and Bones, but the site reports that the nautical adventure has a total of 850,000 players. Most concerning, this includes those who have chosen to enter the game with an eight-hour free trial.

To have less than a million players is hardly what the 'first' AAAA game should be boasting, and with this being so soon after release, it's not a great indication for the future of the game. This comes especially as it's expected that a huge chunk comes from a free trial. 

What does the future look like for Skull and Bones?

A pirate climbs ropes on a ship as its cannons fire in Skull and Bones.
Click to enlarge

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Seemingly built on a lot of misleading promises and a long development process that saw delay after delay, it appears that the gaming community has lost a lot of faith in Skull and Bones. Even though some are getting incredibly invested, critics aren't all there with it, slating its tedium that forgets too often to be fun.

Things aren't looking great for Skull and Bones, and unless it can pull out something incredibly exciting, it's probably not going to come together in a way that rescues it from Davey Jones' locker. Smooth seas don't make skilled sailors, but blimey, the water is choppy for Skull and Bones.

Joseph Kime
About the author
Joseph Kime
Joseph Kime is the Senior Trending News Journalist for GGRecon from Devon, UK. Before graduating from MarJon University with a degree in Journalism, he started writing music reviews for his own website before writing for the likes of FANDOM, Zavvi and The Digital Fix. He is host of the Big Screen Book Club podcast, and author of Building A Universe, a book that chronicles the history of superhero movies. His favourite games include DOOM (2016), Celeste and Pokemon Emerald.
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