Can Ubisoft Make Everyone’s Pirate Fantasy Come To Life?

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Eleven years after the release of the crowd favourite Assassin’s Creed game, Black Flag, we’re finally getting a pirate action-adventure game from Ubisoft called Skull and Bones.

Created by Ubisoft’s Singapore branch, Skull and Bones takes inspiration from the fan favourite pirate themes of Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag, along with the Singapore studio’s experience in creating the naval combat for Assassin’s Creed III.

In other words, it’s got all the right ingredients to give the gaming fans what they want: to be a pirate. Junkee spoke to Gabriel Tay, an associate content director at Ubisoft, and Jessica Chung, a project manager at Ubisoft, to find out how the game came to be.

“We knew that people were very enamoured with the pirate fantasy in the setting,” explained Gabriel. “And so we really wanted to build a game focused on that.”

“Having chosen a unique location in the Indian Ocean — it’s not explored much in popular culture,” added Jessica. “So we really want to take that and make it visible and put that into a game that, you know, people can enjoy.”

I’ll never stop hyping up the value of accurate cultural representation in games like Assassin’s Creed Mirage, and Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, which enlisted the help of Persian and Iranian talent to build out that world in an authentic way. And even in a fantasy pirate setting, Skull and Bones had the help of historians to bring the Golden Age of piracy to life. You love to see it.

“They gave us a lot of information. We’re building a game representing the Indian Ocean, and it spans from the coast of Africa all the way to the East Indies. It’s such a diversity of culture that we wanted to represent. The stories that really gave us good insight were unique to them as, not just as locals in their area, but how they operated as pirates during that time,” said Gabriel. “We really want to build a pirate game that was historically inspired, grounded, but still give you that excitement and fantasy and supernatural.”

As someone who’s always raring to go off on a wild adventure, as long as I can stay in my pyjamas and not actually leave the house, it looks like I’m about to be a pirate and explore the Indian Ocean. And since it’s historically accurate, I’m going to consider it an act of academic enrichment. Yo ho ho!