When a publisher/developer is extremely confident in their product, they’ll tend to pour in as much money as possible to raise awareness and hype. This usually entails a massive marketing blast that includes a ton of PR, a couple of preview videos, or even a celebrity of some sort playing the game. However, for Ubisoft, it often means you’re getting a live-action representation of said game. Exhibit A would be last year’s Far Cry 5 short film, on Amazon Prime Video, that focused on the events leading up to Far Cry 5. In other cases, if you’re a popular IP like Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed series, you’ll get a subpar movie starring Michael Fassbender.
In a fascinating twist, Ubisoft has announced intent to develop a TV drama that focuses on a game that has yet to release in Skull & Bones.
That’s according to a report by THR, that reveals the news that Ubisoft has partnered with Atlas Entertainment (Dirty John) to produce a Female-Driven Pirate TV series, based on the video game Skull & Bones, which is said to be released on Xbox One, PS4, and PC later this year. Amanda Segel (The Mist) is set to write the pilot and executive produce, with Atlas’ Andy Horwitz and Richard Suckle who are also Executive Producers for the show. Ubisoft‘s director of development for television Danielle Kreinik, who will also exec produce the TV show alongside head of Ubisoft film and television Jason Altman, had this to say…
“Ubisoft is known for creating innovative video games that combine immense worlds with rich narratives,”
That could definitely prove to be true for Skull & Bones, as well, as the TV Drama is said to be billed as a female-driven drama set in the lawless frontier of the Indian Ocean at the end of the golden age of piracy in the 1700s.
Unlike adaptations for Far Cry, Assassin’s Creed, and even their upcoming Division film, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Chastain, the Skull & Bones series is definitely a bolder strategy. The other 3 were, at the very least, established products with a relatively strong fanbase. With Skull & Bones, all we have to go off of are a few cinematic trailers and gameplay, albeit amazing gameplay courtesy of Ubisoft Singapore. So, Ubisoft is taking a massive gamble by putting their chips into a series that they can’t be 100% assured of that people will watch.
On the other hand, what this Skull & Bones series does have going for it is that it is a Pirate Drama. History has shown that people, frankly, love the swash-buckling bandits, as is evident with the critically-acclaimed Starz series, Black Sails, and the lucrative Pirates of the Caribbean film series. With that in mind, this could be an excellent series, but there are still a lot of factors that have to play out before confidence can be instilled for the skeptical Ubisoft fans. For starters, casting, a synopsis, and even a platform for the series need to be settled on, though my money is on Amazon Prime Video because of Ubisoft’s previous relationship with them.
It is worth noting that Ubisoft did already have established female pirate characters in Anne Bonny and Mary Read from Assassin’s Creed Black Flag. As our resident Ubisoft expert, Rob Ntropi, explains, “If they wanted to a Pirate series, they really should’ve focused more on a Black Flag show that would focus on the female characters Anne Bonny or Mary Read who were part of that game, and how their exploits fit into the Skull and Bones world. I think if you associated the show with a past hit it may boost some interest in S&B, yet have one of the most popular AC games to drive the show itself.”
The Skull & Bones series is a fascinating development and one we’ll keep an eye out for, as more information releases.