Why Skull & Bones is a $70 Game Instead of Free-to-Play?


Ubisoft’s upcoming multiplayer pirate game Skull & Bones has adopted a premium $70 pricing model rather than going free-to-play.

During a recent earnings call, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot explained why Skull & Bones is not free-to-play and justified the full-price tag.

Quadruple-A Quality Worth Full Price?

When asked why Skull & Bones was not free-to-play to attract a larger player base, Guillemot stated that Skull & Bones is a “quadruple-A game” whose scale and quality warrant the $70 pricing.

He emphasized that Skull & Bones is a “fully-fledged”, “very big” and “complete” AAA title that will justify the price in the long run.

Ubisoft is confident that Skull & Bones will impress players with its vast open world and abundant content at launch.

The publisher expects Skull & Bones to drive record annual net bookings in the coming financial quarter.

Post-Launch Plans To Keep Players Engaged

To keep players engaged long-term, Ubisoft has extensive post-launch plans for Skull & Bones.

The first-year roadmap includes four seasons of additional content like new legendary pirate bosses, merchant convoys, and elite warships.

Additional limited-time events will offer special loot rewards.

These free updates will continuously expand the world and challenges.

Ubisoft hopes this substantial post-launch support will retain players and drive recurring revenues from in-game purchases.

A Risky Bet for Ubisoft?

However, the $70 pricing is a risky bet for a new IP.

At that price, Skull & Bones will compete directly with established franchises like Assassin’s Creed and Red Dead Redemption 2.

The multiplayer focus and pirate theme may have limited appeal compared to familiar open-world formulas.

If early reception is lukewarm, Ubisoft may struggle to maintain a healthy player base long-term.

Ultimately, Skull & Bones will have to deliver an extremely polished and compelling experience at launch to justify the premium model over free-to-play.

The open beta running until February 11 is players’ only chance to try Skull & Bones for free before its release on February 16 on PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.

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