Assassin's Creed Black Flag gains 31% more Xbox players after Skull & Bones beta

The Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag player count on Xbox has surged by 31% following the beta period and full release of the adventure game Skull and Bones.

Assassin's Creed Black Flag gains 31% more Xbox players after Skull & Bones beta
Sean Carey

Sean Carey


Over the past two weeks, we've seen a sharp rise in the Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag player count, and players unlocking the Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag achievements. From what we can tell, it seems all the buzz surrounding Ubisoft's new "quadruple-A" adventure title Skull and Bones is likely behind the influx of players returning to the classic Assassin's Creed game.

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag has seen a significant rise in players over the past two weeks. We first noticed an uptick in Black Flag players during the week of the Skull and Bones open beta, which began on February 8 and ran over the weekend. We then saw a further increase last week with the early access launch of Skull and Bones on February 13 and the subsequent full launch on February 16. According to our Xbox Gameplay Chart data, which draws from a sample size of 2.4 million active Xbox accounts (not all of which are TrueAchievements members), Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag has seen a 31% rise in Xbox players over the past two weeks — not bad for a game that came out over a decade ago!

Of course, while we can't say for certain why Black Flag has seen such a wild spike in its Xbox player count, it's probably fair to assume Skull and Bones, which is primarily based on Black Flag's exceptional naval combat, is a significant factor. Whether or not it's down to Skull and Bones not living up to that "quadruple-A" experience promised by Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot remains to be seen, but looking at recent reviews from critics and players, it seems that many are realizing it's not the true Black Flag successor they wanted.

Another factor in this increase in players could be that Black Flag was included in an Xbox sale in the run-up to Skull and Bones' launch, where it was discounted to just $8.99. However, we don't usually tend to see spikes in player numbers like this in games that are this old just because they go on sale, so the 31% increase is likely down to both the recent sale and Skull and Bones.

Assassin's Creed Black Flag sees 31% Xbox player increase in wake of Skull & Bones beta

Despite setting sail 11 years ago, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag still holds up today and is considered by some as not only one of the best Xbox open world games but also one of the best Assassin's Creed games. With its gorgeous, detailed Caribbean setting, an excellent story about a pirate assassin, and stellar gameplay that involves you sailing the high seas and engaging in ferocious naval battles, it's no wonder that players might be tempted to go back to Black Flag after catching wind of Skull and Bones.

Skull and Bones made its first appearance in our Xbox Gameplay Chart this week, debuting in 30th place. It's hard to say if it will climb higher up the table, but it will be interesting to see where it sits in the coming weeks and also if Black Flag's player count continues to rise.

If you've been working your way through the Skull and Bones achievements, give us your thoughts on the game below in the comments.
Written by Sean Carey
Avid Xbox and achievement fan, Sean has committed to playing the best RPGs, racing games, and first-person shooters Xbox Game Pass and his precious free time will allow. Prior to joining TrueAchievements, Sean gained a degree in journalism from Solent University.
View discussion...
Hide ads