Ubisoft desperately defends the game’s price, which must absolutely be a success.

Ubisoft’s boss defends the exorbitant price of the pirate game Skull and Bones (80 euros) and calls it a quadruple-A game. Will this be enough to motivate players, after years of development, expectations, and rumors?

They say history repeats itself, but this time, it’s repeating a little too quickly. At the beginning of February, we already saw that the big problem with Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League was its price: 70 euros for a solo and multiplayer hybrid game, too stingy, mechanically dated and with paid additional content.

We hoped then that Warner’s likely blunder would serve as a lesson when suddenly… Here comes Ubisoft with its new game, full throttle, to make the exact same mistakes as Rocksteady with its Suicide Squad.

Skull and Bones, the famous pirate game developed since 2013 and which would have cost around 200 million dollars, is approaching soon and could overshadow the notable launch of Suicide Squad – and not necessarily in a positive way. Ubisoft’s title was in open beta from February 8 to 11, and as many expected, player feedback is mixed.

And while not everything seems to be thrown away, the majority agrees that Skull and Bones is not worth its astronomical price. Everyone agrees… except of course Ubisoft’s boss, who believes that his game is worth even more than a classic triple A.

A long Odyssey about to come to an end

like a free to play… but paid?

During a question-and-answer session about Ubisoft’s latest financial report (via VGC), Yves Guillemot, CEO of Ubisoft, defended the price of Skull and Bones (69.99 euros for the physical version, 59.99 euros for the digital version, 89.99 for the Premium) by calling it a “quadruple-A game“.

During this session, a participant pointed out that the pirate game seems to adopt the form of a service game. A post-purchase content schedule spanning almost a year has also been recently published. This confirms that Skull and Bones aims to thoroughly rob its players, despite the large sum they will have spent to own it – and even if the idea of owning a game no longer seems to be within Ubisoft’s policy anymore.

While this economic model is generally very lucrative, it is more suited to free-to-play games (Fortnite, Apex Legends). It rarely succeeds with big games sold at a high price (Marvel’s Avengers, Anthem or recently, Suicide Squad), excluding a few exceptions such as Diablo 4. The participant would therefore have asked for the reason why Ubisoft still insists on charging such a high price for its game, risking thus to sabotage its launch.

“skull and bones a truly generous game”

Indeed, the strategy of service games is generally to attract players with the product’s free nature, then to make it profitable in the long term. This is what Ubisoft will also do with XDefiant very soon.

To this burning question, Yves Guillemot replied that it is the exceptional scope of Skull and Bones that justifies this decision:

“You will see that Skull and Bones is a game in its own right […] It is a very vast title and we think that people will see how complete it is. It is a truly generous game. A triple… a quadruple-A that will be revealed over time.”

Ubisoft’s title would therefore be the long-awaited and dreamed pirate game. After so many delays and years of development, it would arrive to outshine Sea of Thieves, restore the reputation of the French studio, and sweep away the nasty rumors predicting a catastrophe. Unless, it’s not the game’s quality (whatever it may be) that justifies Skull and Bones‘ price, but what it cost the studio.

Skull & Bones: photoSkull & Bones: photoLet’s hope that with its price, Skull and Bones doesn’t have to deal with another type of pirate

three times more expensive than the Witcher 3?

Developed since 2013 and expected since 2017, Skull and Bones has known an infernal production (which is common at Ubisoft, as reported recently by

Insider Gaming). What was supposed to be a small game based on the naval phases of Assassin’s Creed Black Flag would have thus experienced a totally erratic evolution, driven by increasingly oversized ambitions. Ubisoft’s Singapore team, in charge of the project, soon found themselves overloaded by an increasingly unmanageable project.

In the end (according to JV.com), Skull and Bones would have cost more than 200 million euros (The Witcher 3 cost 72.5 million euros, for comparison), not to mention the marketing campaign. An enormous investment that could also be the cause, among many other things, of Ubisoft’s fall in the stock market that we have seen in recent years.

Here’s what the “quadruple-A” formula by Yves Guillemot might hide: a production that has cost too much and that absolutely needs to be profitable. Despite all

the 100-euro premium editions

in the world, it’s hard to see Skull and Bones as a guaranteed success equal to Ubisoft’s ambitions. And if we had the impression we were witnessing a repeat of what we had experienced for Suicide Squad (notably with the beta of the game that hasn’t entirely convinced), the result could be even more painful here.

If not for Ubisoft then, but also and especially for the developers who have succeeded each other for years and probably struggled earnestly with the production of this game.

Skull and Bones will officially be released this February 16

and we will give it a chance, of course. We also hope to be pleasantly surprised so that in the end, the work of all the people involved in this long project is appropriately rewarded.

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