Quarantine is a term that originates from the Venetian word, quarantena, which meant forty days. The 40-day isolation method was the preferred practice back in the 17th century (and for many years after) as a way to prevent diseases from spreading from one border to another, including but not limited to, the plague.
While this explains the term for ships docking for 40 days out of fear of spreading disease, we don't know if there is a term for whatever is going on with Skull & Bones.
Ubisoft's swash-buckling pirate game has been in development for the better part of the past decade. Yet, it seems like audiences are no closer to seeing the title come to life now than before. However, a recent report suggests that the development of Skull & Bones is progressing well.
Skull & Bones might indeed be releasing in 2022
The term Alpha is meant to describe a game that is in a completely playable state albeit incomplete. This version of a game is usually still full of bugs and the developers then take some time to iron out the remaining kinks while testing out new features, as well as adding more assets. It isn't until a game reaches its Beta phase that it starts to resemble the outcome.
Earlier this year, we reported that Ubisoft had delayed Skull & Bones to 2022. Since then, we have heard very little about Ubisoft's pirate simulator - until now.
According to a lengthy report from Kotaku, Ubisoft took its sweet time making Skull & Bones. The anonymous developer/whistleblower confirmed that Ubisoft originally intended the game to be a multiplayer expansion to Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, before it morphed into an MMO titled Black Flag Infinite. It wasn't after this planned MMO was scrapped that Skull & Bones came to be. Even then, Ubisoft can't seem to decide what kind of form the pirate MMO should take.
As Kotaku's source explained, Ubisoft has tried prototyping Skull & Bones in the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean, as well as a fantasy setting. It also appears that Ubisoft has showcased multiple game structures at E3 over the years. In 2017, Ubisoft showcased the game as a ship-based multiplayer shooter. Then, in 2018, the game became a PvE title.
In addition to this, Ubisoft seems to have dabbled with making Skull & Bones a survival title with roguelike gameplay and live service elements.
So, basically, saying that Skull & Bones is a pirate sim isn't a sure thing just yet. It will have pirates and ships, but just how exactly players will figure into those themes remains unknown. However, in the same report, a Ubisoft spokesperson confirmed that the product just passed Alpha and the development team is "excited to share more details when the time is right."
If you're curious to find out more about Skull & Bones, we recommend giving the full report a read. It details not just Skull & Bones reaching Alpha, but also other important tidbits about the game. Like, for example, how Ubisoft has sunk (get it?) more than $120 million to release the game. For some reason, the Singapore government is even involved.