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Skull & Bones rated by ESRB appears to be inching closer to a release date

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fatima khan
fatima khan
A brand new writer in the fields, Fatima has been taken under my electric spark's RGB- rich and ensures she doesn't engage in excessive snark on the website. It's unclear what command and Conquer are; however, she can talk for hours about the odd rhythm games, hardware, product reviews, and MMOs that were popular in the 2000s. Fatima has been creating various announcements, previews, and other content while here, but particularly enjoys writing regarding Products' latest news in the market she's currently addicted to. She is likely talking to an additional blogger with her current obsession right now.

More evidence that Skull and Bones is a videogame that will someday see the light of day has surfaced in the form of an official Entertainment Software Rating Board listing. The M (Mature 17+) listing doesn’t contain a date, but it does actually exist, and that’s a big step in its own right.

Skull and Bones, for those who have lost track, was originally announced in June 2017, but despite a promising initial presence it was soon cursed with the doldrums: Multiple delays pushed it into 2019, then 2020, and then an open-ended whenever. Things began to coalesce earlier this year, though, and in March Ubisoft actually put out a call for playtesters—another big sign that, yes, progress is being made.

Ubisoft urged followers to “stay tuned” in an April tweet, right around the time that a six-minute intro video leaked onto Reddit, but has otherwise been silent on the topic. But the appearance of games on rating websites is a pretty sure sign that more meaningful news isn’t too far off. And even though the listing doesn’t have a launch date, screenshots, or a cool trailer, it does provide some insight into what’s ahead: Players will begin the game as a “shipwrecked outcast” and work toward becoming a famed pirate captain by taking on missions, exploring settlements, and of course engaging in dramatic battles upon the high seas.

“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,” the ESRB listing says. “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.”

But the really good stuff is found on dry land: “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.”

I think I’m going to say “the price of my a*se goes up tomorrow, so buy a piece today!” during my next salary negotiation.

Skull and Bones is also listed on Australia’s Classification Board website—it appeared there in May, but without the fun details—but has not yet turned up on Pegi, which rates games for the EU and UK.

According to South Korea’s Game Management Committee (via VGC), the rating was filed on May 12 and it appears to indicate a game that will fall under a Mature rating. A rating is usually given to a game that is complete or nearing completion, meaning the long-delayed game could finally be on the way.

The appearance of a game on an age rating site is usually a pretty good indication that it’s not too far off, and I imagine we’ll be hearing more about Skull and Bones very soon—possibly at the upcoming Gamescom event, which takes place August 24-28 in Cologne, Germany. Ubisoft confirmed earlier today that it will be in attendance.


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