Ubisoft have warned youthful pirate fans (and their parents) that they'll be eschewing merry romanticism when it comes to the salty seadogs, and that Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag will be taking a rather more mature approach to the scourges of the high seas.
We have a fantastic opportunity for pirates in video games," said lead content manager Carsten Myhill, chatting to MCV. "Certainly when Assassin’s Creed III naval came out, there was a clamour from the fans for a pirate game. There’s no doubt that the people want it.
“But it’s not easy. It takes a very talented team, a lot of experience and great tech. It’s one thing having good naval combat, but combining that with good boarding and land-based gameplay in a seamless way, is hard to do.
“We’re staying away from cliches. Things like walking the plank, parrots on the shoulder and hooks for hands. We are giving pirates the HBO, reality treatment. And that allows us to redefine piracy in entertainment. No longer is it for kids.”
At least he didn't use the word "gritty".