Made-in-Singapore online pirate game Skull & Bones revealed at Ubisoft pre-E3 event

Announcement trailer for Ubisoft Singapore's Skull & Bones online pirate video game.VIDEO: UBISOFT US
Creative director Justin Farren introducing Skull & Bones during the Ubisoft E3 conference at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles, California, on June 12, 2017.
Creative director Justin Farren introducing Skull & Bones during the Ubisoft E3 conference at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles, California, on June 12, 2017.PHOTO: AFP/GETTY IMAGES

SINGAPORE - French video game developer Ubisoft of Assassin's Creed fame announced on Tuesday (June 13) that its Singapore studio is working on a big budget multiplayer online pirate sea battle game called Skull & Bones.

The game is slated to be released for the PC, as well as PlayStation and Xbox game consoles in 2018.

A new intellectual property, the title was a surprise reveal made to the world's video games press at an Ubisoft event on the eve of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, one of the largest annual gatherings for the video games industry.

Ubisoft said it is the first time its Singapore arm has led the development of a AAA game, in other words a big budget, blockbuster title.

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"Skull & Bones has been designed, created and developed here in Singapore. Every aspect of the game, from the very concept to the execution was done here," Ms Sylviane Bahr, a communications director at Ubisoft Singapore, told The Straits Times on Tuesday.

The Singapore team, based in Fusionopolis, played a hand in co-developing entries in the popular Assassin's Creed games.

In 2014, the Ubisoft Singapore released Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Phantoms, an online tactical shooter said at the time by industry observers to be Singapore's first big PC game made from the ground up for a global market. That game's online servers ended in December last year, effectively closing down the title.


Screenshot of the game, Skull & Bones, which was announced by Ubisoft Singapore at Ubisoft's pre-E3 press conference on Tuesday (13 June).  PHOTO: UBISOFT SINGAPORE

Ms Bahr said on Tuesday that the idea for Skull & Bones started with the good reception to the pirates battle segment of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. Those naval battle sections were done by the Ubisoft Singapore.

"The team wanted to push the pirate fantasy and the naval battles a step further," said Ms Bahr of Skull & Bones' development.

Skull & Bones introduces a wind system that gives gamers tactical opportunities to navigate more quickly, shoot further and harder to destroy their enemies.


Screenshot of the game, Skull & Bones, which was announced by Ubisoft Singapore at Ubisoft's pre-E3 press conference on Tuesday (13 June).  PHOTO: UBISOFT SINGAPORE

Gamers can also look forward to helming a powerful warship and leading a crew into sea battles to vie for the title of pirate kingpin, whether on their own or as part of a pirate gang. They will also be able to build their own fleet of ships that specialise in different battle conditions.

The game's creative director Justin Farren sid: "Thanks to our systemic living world, our gameplay innovations, a strong fantasy and the team's commitment to support the game in the long term, we believe that Skull & Bones will bring players a unique experience allowing them to live the intriguing and thrilling life of pirates."


Screenshot of the game, Skull & Bones, which was announced by Ubisoft Singapore at Ubisoft's pre-E3 press conference on Tuesday (13 June).  PHOTO: UBISOFT SINGAPORE

One local gamer who is looking forward to the new made-in-Singapore game is software engineer Sean Saito, 22.

"The combat mechanics of the pirates part of Assassin's Creed IV was pretty cool, such as invading fortresses using the ship, so I'm looking forward to this new game," said Mr Saito, 22, who has spent about 40 hours playing the fourth numbered title in the Assassin's Creed series.