Joe Neate, Executive Producer at Rare, posted news about the Sea of Thieves closed beta coming 24-29 January. Read the story below:

Happy New Year, everyone! We’re back working hard on Sea of Thieves after the holidays and a December chock-full of announcements. We revealed March 20 as our launch date and made a star of an unsuspecting chicken with a swashbuckling trailer, kicked off pre-orders, revealed how you progress through the world of Sea of Thieves, and showed off our haunting Limited Edition controller. All that and we hosted our biggest ever Technical Alpha play session last month.

All hands are now back on deck here at Rare as we sail toward launch. We’ll have plenty to share, show off and celebrate before then, but we’re beginning 2018 with the announcement of our upcoming Closed Beta dates.

The Sea of Thieves Closed Beta will run from 12 p.m. GMT on January 24 to 8 a.m. GMT on January 29 (4 a.m. PST on January 24 to 12 a.m. PST on January 29), which gives pirates a full five days of sailing, shanties and shenanigans. We’ve crafted a bespoke experience for Closed Beta players that offers a true taste of the pirate life and a great chance to get your sea legs ahead of March 20! We won’t be testing the full game during this Closed Beta phase: we want to keep a good selection of things up our sleeves for players to discover at launch. So get your calendars out and get those dates pencilled in!

The Sea of Thieves Closed Beta will be accessible to anyone who joined the Sea of Thieves Insider Programme before December 1, 2017, and anyone who pre-orders the game. If you’ve already pre-ordered the game and want to find out how to download the Closed Beta client, visit our website.

One final thing: the Closed Beta will not be covered by an NDA, so players can stream, create videos, share clips, take screenshots or do anything else that their wonderful minds can come up with. Some of our favourites will no doubt be shared on Sea of Thieves’ social channels and website. I know a lot of players will be excited by this announcement – I am too! If you missed out on the Insider Programme, pre-order now to ensure access to the Closed Beta!

Want to be among the first to know when we have more news to share? Make sure you follow us on social media and keep an eye on Xbox Wire and the official Sea of Thieves site.

Content: Sea Of Thieves
Check pre-order price and availability in your Xbox LIVE region

Game Description: You may pre-download this game, but it will not be playable until release date (03/20/2018 – 3:00 AM).

Packed to the seams with sailing and exploring, fighting and plundering, riddle solving and treasure hunting, Sea of Thieves has everything you need to live the pirate life you’ve always dreamed about. Set in a glorious world of exotic islands, hidden treasures and dangers both natural and supernatural, Sea of Thieves immerses you in a new type of multiplayer action. Whether you’re adventuring as a group or sailing solo, you’re bound to encounter other crews – but will they be friends or foes? And how will you respond?

Pre-order Sea of Thieves and you’ll receive the exclusive Black Dog Pack (containing stylish clothing and items with unique, spectacular designs) as well as a chance to join other pioneering pirates in a Closed Beta ahead of the game’s worldwide launch on March 20th, 2018!

Xbox One Pre-Order FAQ

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Last month, we released Clubs and Looking for Group on Xbox Live to Preview members on Xbox One and the Xbox app (beta) to give you more choice in how you play and who you play with. Today, we’re starting to roll out even more features to Preview, including Arena on Xbox Live, special updates to Achievement Rarity and Looking for Group! Big thanks to Xbox fans for sharing your thoughts – your feedback continually inspires us to make Xbox the best place for gamers.

Now, here’s a bit more on the new features rolling out to Preview members on Xbox One and the Xbox app (beta):

* Arena on Xbox Live: Beginning today, Arena launches to Preview on Xbox One with the pilot title and legendary fighting game, Killer Instinct. During Preview, you can look forward to competing in daily Killer Instinct tournaments across Xbox One and the Xbox app (beta) on Windows 10 PC. For the initial roll out, Arena will only be accessible to Preview members through practice tournaments on Xbox One in the U.S., with plans to add additional features and expand to the broader Preview audience later in October. To start competing, all you have to do is register on the Tournament tab in the Killer Instinct Game Hub. We’re really excited about the potential of Arena and eager to hear your thoughts as we evolve it and make eSports more accessible for gamers everywhere, regardless of skill-level.

* Achievement Rarity: You might have already seen some buzz about Achievement Rarity from @XboxQwik and me. If you missed it, Achievement Rarity, a top fan request on Xbox Feedback, launched to Preview a few weeks ago. Now, you’ll be able to discover just how unique an Achievement is among players of a given game and celebrate the Achievement itself with a special notification and diamond icon highlighting it. Unlock one today and let us know how you like the new animation!

* New Looking for Group (LFG) Features: Starting today, you will be able to create LFG posts for future gaming sessions – up to seven days in advance! Additionally, based on your feedback, you can now create LFG posts directly in a Club and control who sees them: just members of the Club or everyone on Xbox Live. When creating LFG posts, you can also note what language the party will be speaking and filter your LFG searches based on the language.

* Group Messaging on Xbox Live: Last week, we launched Group Messaging on Xbox One and the Xbox app (beta) on Windows 10 PC. Group Messaging helps you coordinate and keep in touch with your friends and fellow gamers by sending a single group message to everyone in the group. You can also add people to the group and dynamically change the conversation topic. Group Messaging will soon work across the Xbox app (beta) on iOS and Android devices.

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Based on your feedback, we will continue to roll out updates to Preview in the weeks ahead. Keep on the lookout for improvements to existing features and new features – coming to gamers across Xbox One, the Xbox app (beta) on Windows 10, iOS and Android devices.

These features and more coming to all Xbox members later this year.

Enjoy the latest updates and keep the feedback coming!