EXCLUSIVE – Skull and Bones Has Less Than 1 Million Players Total, Including Free Trial Players

Skull and Bones Pirate Crew
Screenshot by Insider Gaming

Insider Gaming sources have revealed that Skull and Bones, which is dubbed as Ubisoft’s first “AAAA game” by its CEO has less than one million players total.

Speaking with sources, the game currently has around 850,000 players total at the time of writing, which includes those who have opted to play the game with the eight-hour free trial provided by Ubisoft. At the moment, players are seemingly fairly engaged, with the average player playing between three and four hours a day. However, whether or not that will change once the free trial expires, or if will convert players into full purchases remains to be seen and we won’t likely get the data until the company’s next earnings call (around May 2024).

One major factor in low player numbers has been attributed to the decision to make the game fully priced at $70, a decision that has been criticized both publically and internally, sources said.

“I think we all know this is a $30-$40 game at best, but it’s not in our control to determine those things”, said one employee who worked on the project.

In a past report by Insider Gaming, where I dived deep into the internal tensions at the company, sources revealed that the game was forecasted to cost the company around $200 million in its decade-long development – A sum that the company doesn’t expect to make back. The game’s development saw thousands of developers working on the game across 11 different studios which saw countless changes in creative direction and constant internal delays.

The game, which officially launched on February 16th, currently sits at a 57 Metacritic score and a user score of 3.6 based on over 800 user ratings.

GameSpot said, “Everything that was great about Black Flag has been ripped out to accommodate tedious live-service elements and a half-baked multiplayer that makes you feel disconnected from other players.”

Eurogamer said, “Ubisoft’s long-in-the-works pirate adventure boasts a beautiful world and bombastic ship-to-ship combat, but it sinks amid boring busywork and tedious traversal.”

If you’re loathing for some pirate action, there is some good news though, as the development of an Assassin’s Creed Black Flag Remake, under the codename Obsidian is under development. Whilst Insider Gaming understands that the game is still years out, it’s understood that it will be a full remake rather than a remaster and be integrated into Assassin’s Creed Infinity – The central hub for Assassin’s Creed.

Skull and Bones is available now on the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, PC, and Amazon Luna.

What do you think of Skull and Bones’ player numbers? Let us know in the comments section below.

For more Insider Gaming coverage, check out the news that a cute Rainbow Six game has landed on Netflix

  1. 850,000 players total is a lot. Game’s been officially out for 6 days ? That’s some really good numbers in my book. Playtime average is 4 hours a day and you call it “fairly engaged”? I sense a little bias ?

    1. How many of those people actually bought the game tho? I am one of those people, and I will NOT be purchasing this game. it’s WAY overpriced for what it actually is.

    2. Context is king. The game has been in development for 10 years and cost around $200,000,000 to make. So no, 850k players is not good.

    3. can you go treasure hunting? can you fight on someone elses ship? can you detail repair? can you trade rare goods with other players? CAN you do anything in this game beside sail and fight while sailing. the game sucks, they know it, we all know it. AAAA game my ass.

    4. “850,000 players total is a lot”

      Did you even read the article? It says it includes the free trial. How many of those people actually bought the game? Ubisoft is a publicly traded company, and 850k + free trial is not going to look good on their shareholders.

    5. Finally someone who speaks sense. It doesn’t help when so called review companies just stand there and slate the hell out of something. It plants the seed that it’s bad and many people will decide its bad before actually playing properly. I have played the game about 5-6 hours a day. If people don’t like the grind, then fine. But that doesn’t make a game bad. This although originally meant as a sequel, isn’t a sequel and instead is a stand alone game. There fore should be treated as such and not compared to black flag.

  2. Ultimately the game was doomed as soon as it launched not because it’s a bad game , merely because of the studios name Ubisoft which has become synonymous with assassin’s creed . It baffles me as to why so many people want to compare this game to assassin’s creed to my knowledge it was never depicted as an assassin’s creed game and yet still so many want to compare it to that game . I for one am happy there is no ship boarding combat I feel it would slow what the game actually is and what you are ultimately trying to accomplish. I have over hundred hours in the game that includes beta time , the issue with the game is there is no clear direction to go progression is very fast and your left looking at an end game that seems very tedious and if that’s all your focused on yeah it’s going to be tedious busy work , but that’s on Ubisoft because they put leader boards in the game and for some reason they seem to matter a lot to a large number of gamers ( even though most of us know those numbers are cheesed to high hell ) . But once you figure out to slow your progress and take in what the beauty of the game is , that being its no direction go do what you want in the game go take in harder difficulty missions join other players in the harder fort plunders , for example I picked up a fort plunder the hardest one in the game and clearly I wasn’t going to complete it , two others passing by joined the fight they didn’t have to be asked or invited and we did it ! I won’t say it doesn’t have faults it does those I feel are ui and some technical issues both of those are sure to addressed , the price point being one them I had no problem shelling out for the ultimate but not every gamer can or even seventy so for the health of the game I wish Ubisoft would consider halving that amount if not going free to play.

    1. It’s being compared to AC because the entire game is based off of AC 4: Black flag. It started development right after black flag released.
      Skull and Bones is only ship combat, while AC 4: Black Flag had both ship combat and allowed the player to explore islands and be engaged in land combat.

      AC:4 Black flag also allowed you to board enemy ships after crippling them enough in order to get extra stuff.

      People expected the game to be at least on par with Black Flag, which wasn’t the case

      Ubisoft essentially just took Black flags ship combat and made it into a $70 game.

    2. The boarding ships and fighting in hand to hand combat makes no sense in the mechanics of the game. Just say you do that, someone or another npc comes along and sinks your ship. You can’t defend because you are messing around playing musketeers on board another vessel. Yeah there are things that could be added to improve the game, but every game has these points. Overall though a fantastic game.

  3. Everyone is hyping it to be the greatest game ever created. So going into it with the expectation to be blown off your feet is setting it up for failure.

    Go to a burger joint that says their burgers have the most flavor in the city and that same burger is now labled as “The burger that will set the new standard! No other current burgers can compete”

    No matter the taste the “new standard” is going to fall on its face even if it’s just barely the best burger there will still be people that prefer salads.

    My opinion… content is entertaining always something different to do, it’s not meant to be a game you beat in a couple weeks.

    Graphics are definitely over hyped but no clipping or graphic glitches.

    1. 70 bucks though. You’d think you would get to run someone through, or keel haul them, or make them walk the plank, or kidnap someone. So much stuff you could have done with 200 mil. That’s what made me sad.

      1. I think this would only work with Npcs. The mechanics of the Pvpve won’t allow for any pausing of any gameplay anywhere. Unlessbit was set up the “walking the plank” would be an end thing. But youd still be open to attack from other ships. There might be a way to make it work,but it would be difficult.

  4. Ubisoft needs to sell to Microsoft or sell off franchises to others to stay around a bit longer. Might as well sell Beyond Good And Evil, Prince Of Persia, Splinter Cell, Rayman, and Drifter since they won’t make any games for those.

  5. It’s a good addictive game, all the compared to black flag bs needs to stop, they’re two completely different games. If you think it’s easy, get on and try it, the first time you come up against a ship with a higher rank and better weapons, you’ll get obliterated, all the complaining about having to cut trees, collect items and it’s more of a survival game, well, you need to collect wood and other items to upgrade or build new ships and weapons, as far as a survival game, go do a crocodile hunt mission and try to survive. It’s like a tv, don’t like what’s on, change the channel, don’t like the game, don’t play it. I like it, and it’s better than these so called experts and journalists say it is.

    1. If they would have offered it as a $30 DLC for Black Flag, nobody would have complained.
      But $70, and here in europe €80 for the standard edition is just way over the top for what this is.
      Yes i enjoyed playing the open-beta somewhat. But i’ll leave it at that.

  6. I realy love the game and can’t stop playing. I hope the game wil be supported for a long time.

  7. It was never supposed to be Black Flag. It was always a ship game that grew out of Black Flag’s sailing. It’s good at that. No you don’t get to go into melee mayhem, because it’s not an AC game. No you don’t get AC towns, because it’s not an AC game.

    The live service stuff is take it or leave it. The core gameplay is sailing, ship battles, and crafting. And it’s good at that.

    1. Only, that’s not what has been advertised. You can defend this all you want, I will just leave it at “hard disagree”.

      This is another Duke Nukem story.

  8. This was never going to be a direct rip off of AC Black Flag, rather it borrowed some of the mechanics and removed the more tedious ones. First…it’s not an Assassin’s creed game. It lifted the naval combat, trade routes and pirate side of AC Black Flag and built a game around it and it has been successful at it. Also, while I have loved every AC game the shipboard combat in Black Flag and Odyssey was janky at best, anyone who says it was amazing is not being honest with themselves. Bad lock on mechanics, a lot of stuff going on, climbing masts on accident it was just not good, I am actually glad it is NOT in the game. Does it have its issues? Sure. Is it worth 70 bucks? Given the content road map (which is free content btw) I think it is in the long term as an investment.

  9. Time played per day does not necessarily mean enjoyable gameplay. Considering time wasting mechanics I would expect these numbers to fall within a couple of months maybe.

  10. I just get tired of every game review reading the same lacky lines.. “it is no AC Black Flag”… Yeah, and the people playing like the fact there is not just another AC type game. I find many of the PVP events that the humans are trying not to hit one another and are dealing with a very aggressive NPC fleet or two instead.
    This game is beautiful. It has a few kinks to work out but give them some time. The reviews being so bad sound just like they did for Fallout 76 and that was also a very different game. Even the designers did not understand that players did not want just another pvp shooter game but liked working together on missions.

  11. It was stated in the article that those numbers were including trial players. I played the full 3 day time trial, which wasn’t included I dont think or maybe idk. Those numbers will drop and I can assure you a lot of people will be just chilling online in cities whilst not doing anything, whikst they do other stuff at home. Played the hell out of it during trial and can honestly say, in its current state that I would never pay the price they want. Fan of ubi games, this not so much. It is a shell and 10 years dev I’m actually confused about the final product

    1. >I can assure you a lot of people will be just chilling online in cities whilst not doing anything, whikst they do other stuff at home.

      The game disconnects you after 10 mins of inactivity so you won’t see people ‘just chilling’ whilst afk…

  12. Ilike how this article says “less than 1 million” like 850k is small numbers. It’s more than pretty much every other game out right now by a lot. Don’t know who thinks games are sitting around here with millions of players. The average popular game has about 30k people daily. That’s it.

  13. If they would have offered it as a $30 DLC for Black Flag, nobody would have complained.
    But $70, and here in europe €80 for the standard edition is just way over the top for what this is.
    Yes i enjoyed playing the open-beta somewhat. But i’ll leave it at that.

  14. Because the game is a failure and has been since before its release.

    Unfortunately it still released to my surprise. Only about four years to late and now unwanted.

    Pretty sure the whole debacle regarding the delays over the years was what put a sour taste in my mouth and then this price tag?!?!?

    Because you spent almost ten years on some BS development does not justify a new classification of “QUADRUPLE A” (AAAA) games!!!

    It simply states you held onto trash while attempting to make it less trash. Hence why people are bashing this game.amf saying “Black Flags” was better and needed to be revised over this trashy cash grab.

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