Joe Neate, Executive Producer at RARE, discusses content updates coming to Sea of Thieves.

It’s been just over three weeks since we launched Sea of Thieves, and a lot has happened since then! We’ve been listening to you all, and we know you are keen to hear how we plan to grow Sea of Thieves. As we’ve always said, launch is just the start, and we are going to grow and evolve the game with feedback from our community. It feels like the right time to reveal how we’ll do this.

Sea of Thieves is a unique experience. As we look to add to the game, we will be very purposeful about the type of experience we want to create, and how we want this game to grow. At the same time, we have also been listening closely to everyone playing the game since launch and have been ensuring that this feeds into our content plans. When considering what to add to our plans, we always consider how we can make the most impact on the following:

  • Bringing players together in interesting ways, encouraging different types of player encounters
  • Enriching the world that players adventure in
  • Giving players new ways to play
  • Giving players a variety of goals and rewards
  • Broadening the journey to Pirate Legend and beyondAlongside this, what’s key for us is the rhythm and cadence we want to get into with Sea of Thieves. Our focus for April is to continue addressing the top feedback points, but as we move into May, our focus will shift to new content.

Our first content update, The Hungering Deep, will release in May and bring with it a new AI threat to the world. Crews will have to work together to discover and defeat this threat as part of a unique event. We will also be introducing a number of new mechanics to assist players on this adventure, and there will be unique rewards that players can earn as part of this event. Beyond this, we will begin our weekly events programme during May, where we introduce new mechanics and give players fun new ways to play with weekly events and rewards.

In the summer months, we’ll debut two more content updates with Cursed Sails, which will include a new ship type, and Forsaken Shores, which will introduce players to a perilous new part of the world to explore. Similarly to The Hungering Deep, both of these updates will also include new gameplay mechanics for players, new AI threats to challenge and new unique rewards to claim.

As we’ve always said, we never wanted to do anything to separate our players, so we’re pleased to confirm that all content updates will be available to all our players, at no additional cost.

With Sea of Thieves being a game that grows and evolves, we’ll be listening to you, our community, throughout. As such, we’ll always be looking at whether our current plans are meeting your needs. Based on feedback since launch, we have changed the priorities for both Pets and Ship Captaincy which we had previously announced as things we would look to add in the few months after launch. These are on the back burner for now whilst we add to the game in other areas. Expect our plans to continue to be fluid, but always with the goals listed above as our guiding principles.

We are hugely excited to be beginning this phase of Sea of Thieves, and seeing where the adventure takes us.

Cheers,

– Joe Neate, Executive Producer

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

Game Description: 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?

Sea of Thieves is an Xbox One X enhanced title; it is also available in the Xbox Game Pass library.

For a limited time only – get Sea of Thieves FREE when you purchase an Xbox One X

Purchase Sea of Thieves for Xbox One from the Xbox Games Store

Product Info:
Developer: Rare
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Website: Sea of Thieves
Twitter: @RareLtd / @SeaOfThieves 

NOTE: Supports Xbox Play Anywhere: yours to play on both Xbox One and Windows 10 PC at no additional cost.

For more information on Xbox Play Anywhere, check out this article at Xbox Wire.

If you didn’t get to watch the debut of Inside Xbox, or maybe you want to see it all again – Will Tuttle, Editor in Chief of Xbox Wire, has put together a great recap.

Earlier today, we launched our new monthly series Inside Xbox. This was the next step on a path we’ve been traveling for many years, one that pulls back the curtain on Team Xbox and celebrates our games, our features, and our fans like never before. The inaugural episode was jam-packed full of everything you could want from a show like this, including the latest on highly-anticipated games like Sea of Thieves and Far Cry 5, exciting news from our friends on the Xbox Game Pass team, the debut of new console features, and much more. So, without further ado, let’s take a closer look at some of the biggest news coming out of this month’s episode of Inside Xbox.

Xbox Update News

The Xbox Engineering and marketing teams were on-hand to debut several brand-new features coming to Xbox later this Spring. Highlights of this segment included:

*Antal Tungler from AMD announced that Xbox One S and Xbox One X will support variable refresh rate on AMD Radeon FreeSync displays. Freesync technology helps get rid of tearing and stuttering while gaming, enabling the display and Xbox One to work together to create a smooth and seamless gaming experience. Freesync allows for a supported TV or monitor to synchronize its refresh rate with your console.

*‘Share to Twitter’ will allow you to share clips and screenshots that will be viewable in-line, directly on your Twitter feed. This new feature will also automatically place that screenshot or video into your Twitter media library, as well as suggest hashtags, such as the game title.

*Xbox One will also begin supporting Auto Low Latency Mode on supported TVs later in 2018, including select models from Samsung. Auto Low Latency Mode will recognize when a game is being played and automatically switch your TV to a low-latency mode. This will enable you to continue using some of your TVs video processing options while you’re watching a movie or Mixer stream, but be comfortable that any post-processing will automatically be turned off when you switch back over to a game.

*The Microsoft Edge browser is also getting an update on Xbox One. The browser now looks and feels more like Microsoft Edge on Windows 10. You can also download and upload files, including pictures and videos, directly to your Xbox One or attached storage device. For example, if you find a great picture online that you’d like to use as your Xbox One background, you can download the image with Microsoft Edge and set it as your custom background.

*Share Controller on Mixer was announced. Mixer streamers on Xbox One will be able to share their controller directly with viewers on Mixer.com. Once shared, a viewer on their PC can help control the experience with either an on-screen virtual controller or with a physical controller connected to the PC. This is available now for testing on the Xbox Insider Alpha ring.

Sea of Thieves

Executive Producer Joe Neate confirmed two updates for Sea of Thieves based on fan feedback from the Closed Beta and Scale Tests.

*The respawn system has been updated based on player feedback. Now, if you perish after your ship is sunk you will respawn on a new ship, away from the scene of your watery demise.

*You can now favorite Pirate characters when selecting your pirate from the character carousel. This will allow you to refresh your options during character selection and still retain the option of choosing the Favorites character from before.

Larry Hryb and Lydia Ellery had the chance to talk with Rare Studio Head Craig Duncan and Sea of Thieves Executive Producer Joe Neate about the original inspiration for Sea of Thieves, how that has manifested itself in the final game, and how that purpose has bonded players together.

Sea of ThievesLarry and Lydia also spoke with lead designer Shelley Preston and art director Ryan Stevenson about the game’s design philosophy. The team went in-depth on the importance of natural design and the sense of discovery that permeates the game.

The Quest

The end of the episode marked a curious entry, with the forging golden bananas and mysterious URL. Adventure awaits on web and land, calling to all Sea of Thieves fans to band together to tackle the mysteries and challenges ahead. One thing is certain. Someone is going to walk away with that gold banana bunch.

PixArk Release Date

Navin Supphapholsiri from Studio Wildcard was on-hand to not only show off the vibrant, friendly and procedurally generated survival game PixArk, but also revealed the release date from the much-anticipated survival title. PixArk will be available on March 27.

Based on Studio Wildcard’s popular Ark: Survival Evolved, PixArk takes a more colorful, accessible approach to the survival genre, allowing you to not only harvest resources, hunt dinosaurs, and craft gear, but also build outlandishly creative bases. This includes a Creative Mode, which allows you to build freely, without restraint or worrying about the survival-based-gameplay.

Games, Games, and More Games

Jeff Rubenstein and Larry Hryb talked to Nico Bihary from Microsoft Studios for a full update on all things PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, including a recent major update to the game, where it’s going from here, and why Chicken Dinners are so darn tasty.

At a recent event for Far Cry 5, Larry got the chance to chat with Drew Holmes, the game’s lead writer, and actor Greg Byrke about bringing the franchise’s latest unsettling antagonist to life.

Xbox Game Pass

The team also revealed that Xbox Game Pass will bringing eight new games into the fold in April, including the critically acclaimed Cities: Skylines. This city-creation simulation puts the fate of your own dream metropolis in your hands, letting you manage the cities infrastructure, various districts, utilities, healthcare, emergency responders and much more. This is first of eight Xbox Game Pass reveals for April, so stay tuned to Xbox Wire for more info as it becomes available.

Thanks to everyone who tuned in! We hope you enjoyed the show and we can’t wait to tell you all about next month’s episode in a few weeks.

Joe Neate, Executive Producer at Rare, shares some details about the final beta for Sea of Thieves.

It seems like just yesterday that we launched the Insider Programme for Sea of Thieves. We felt that getting our game into player’s hands early, learning from their feedback and growing a community around this game was critical for a new, shared-world experience like Sea of Thieves. We started with our first 1,000 players in December 2016, and we have been steadily growing the player base and feature set throughout the last year.

Since we began we have seen our community grow and players adventure in our magical world. We have seen battles held, friends made, instruments played and quite a bit of overindulgence on our surprisingly strong grog. Most excitingly, we have seen many, many amazing stories from our players, and recently we allowed them to share these with the world during our Closed Beta. It was incredible to be able watch players live in Sea of Thieves for the first time, to see their adventures unfold first-hand and to hear the stories they had to share.

As we head towards launch on March 20, we have one Final Beta test to run. This gives us an opportunity to grow our scale testing to our largest number yet, it allows us to test a broader range of features than ever before and it also gives anyone that is interested a chance to play and experience Sea of Thieves first-hand.

With that in mind, we are announcing the Sea of Thieves Final Beta, available now and running through to 2 a.m. PST (10 a.m. GMT) on Sunday, March 11.

Who can take part in the Final Beta?

This is open to absolutely anyone to play, and can be downloaded now from the Store on Xbox One and Windows 10. To install, you will just need to search for and install the Sea of Thieves Final Beta. The Sea of Thieves Final Beta requires an Xbox LIVE account on both PC and Xbox One, with an Xbox LIVE Gold subscription required on Xbox One.

What will I be playing?

In the Final Beta, alongside the Gold Hoarders, we will be testing Merchant Alliance voyages for the first time, giving players an entirely new way to play. As well, we are now introducing an emergent, intense opportunity into the world, with the chance of a Skeleton Fort now being occupied. Watch out for that tell-tale Skull Cloud above a fort which indicates the chance of great rewards, but also great risk. Will other players have seen it? Or might they even be there already? Will you work together or against each other? We can’t wait to watch and find out.

In addition, we’re excited to announce that Sea of Thieves’ Xbox One X enhancements will be available during the Final Beta! We’re thrilled that players will be able to experience Sea of Thieves in 4K on the most powerful console ever made.

Can I share my stories?

Absolutely! Whether co-streaming on Mixer, sharing on Twitch, uploading to YouTube or sharing via Game DVR, we are thoroughly looking forward to seeing what our players get up to.

What can I expect?

This is our biggest test yet, and we are excited to see how many players turn up, but we also want to ensure a good experience for everyone that is in and playing. What this means is that as we hit peak times, we might have to temporarily put a hold on other players joining whilst we manage player load. If this happens, we will be sharing the latest news and status via the status page on Seaofthieves.com, and we will be sharing regular updates on Twitter from the official @SeaOfThieves handle.

Thanks to everyone that has helped us get to where we are so far. Everyone who has played in the Technical Alpha, Closed Beta or scale tests – anyone who has submitted ideas and feedback, filled out surveys, shared their stories or made friends in our world – we wouldn’t be where we are without you, and we cannot wait to see where this adventure takes us next.

Here’s to the next leg of the journey.

Sea of Thieves is now available for pre-order in the Xbox Store and Windows Store, and you can play the game at launch on March 20 as part of Xbox Game Pass. For the latest on Sea of Thieves, stay tuned to Xbox Wire and SeaOfThieves.com.


As a reminder, the first episode of Inside Xbox returns on March 10th and will include coverage of Sea of Thieves. Details on how to watch the live show can be found here.

[ 💬 Larry Hryb ] @majornelson

More @majornelson on Twitter

Last month, gamers worldwide got to experience fantastical pirate adventures firsthand, as Rare welcomed the community into the Sea of Thieves Closed Beta. As we approach the global launch of one of the most anticipated Xbox One exclusives for 2018, we’re pleased to announce the Xbox One S Sea of Thieves Bundle, offering prospective pirates the best value in games and entertainment alongside Rare’s highly anticipated shared-world adventure. Games play best on Xbox One, making it the perfect place to jump into Rare’s unique multiplayer adventure.

Pre-Order Xbox One S Sea of Thieves Bundle from Microsoft Store

The Xbox One S Sea of Thieves Bundle will be available starting March 20, 2018 for $299.99 USD at a Microsoft Store near you and online, as well as participating retailers worldwide and is available now for pre-order. The bundle includes:

*An Xbox One S with a 1TB hard drive, Xbox Wireless Controller, a built-in 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player, support for 4K video streaming, High Dynamic Range and premium audio with Dolby Atmos. With over 1,300 great games including over 200 console exclusives – from the biggest blockbusters and most popular franchises to 400 titles across three generations of Xbox classics – there’s never been a better time to game on Xbox One.

*A full-game download of Sea of Thieves, allowing you to dive into the game’s shared-world on release day exclusively on Xbox One. Form a crew and take to the open ocean on voyages to discover buried treasure, solve puzzling riddles, secure precious cargo and combat a wide array of challenges. In a world where every sail signals a ship crewed by real players with unique goals and motivations, you never know what lies over the horizon.

*A 1-month Xbox Live Gold subscription, so you can experience the thrill of the high seas with the greatest community of gamers on Xbox Live, the fastest, most reliable gaming network.

*A 1-month Xbox Game Pass trial so you can discover over 100 Xbox One games with unlimited across three generations of consoles. Xbox Game Pass members will also receive access to new games from Microsoft Studios like State of Decay 2 and Crackdown 3 on the same date as their global launch.

Looking for additional pirate plunder? The Xbox Wireless Controller – Sea of Thieves Limited Edition will let you fight, sail and loot in style. Available now for $74.99 USD, the controller features a deep purple translucent design, adorned with laser etched barnacles, one treasured golden trigger and haunted by a mysterious glow-in-the-dark skull. The controller comes with the exclusive Ferryman Clothing Set for your Sea of Thieves character, a 14-day Xbox Live Gold trial and a 14-day Xbox Game Pass trial at no additional cost. In addition the Seagate Special Edition Sea of Thieves 2TB Game Drive for Xbox will boost your console’s storage capacity, while the Controller Gear Limited Edition Sea of Thieves Xbox Pro Charging Stand and Controller Gear Limited Edition Sea of Thieves Xbox One Controller Stand V2.0 will help display your treasure in style. These accessories are available for pre-order now for $89.99, $49.99 and $14.99, respectively.

Already have an Xbox One? Jump into the immersive multiplayer world of “Sea of Thieves” on March 20 with Xbox Game Pass for $9.99 a month, or preorder for $59.99.  With Xbox Game Pass, you can enjoy unlimited access to over one hundred great Xbox One and Xbox 360 titles, including fan-favorites like Halo 5: Guardians, Gears of War 4, and Bioshock. Starting with Sea of Thieves, all future Microsoft Studios games will launch day and date on Xbox Game Pass, providing an additional option to set sail on day one.

Pre-Order Sea of Thieves for Xbox One from the Xbox Games Store

For more information, visit xbox.com. And for the latest on Sea of Thieves, stay tuned to SeaofThieves.com and Xbox Wire.

 

 

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

arena-on-xbox-live_killer-instinct

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.

group-messaging_console

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!