Rare’s latest game, Sea of Thieves, released on March 20th, 2018 to a fairly mixed reception. Some players praised the game for what it was while others focused more on its limitations. The one thing everyone did agree with was the lack of content Sea of Thieves presented at its launch but still, some gamers held out hope that once you became a pirate legend (the max character level) more content would start to emerge. That was not the case. Twitch streamer Prod1gyX became the first ever pirate legend in Sea of Thieves just a few days ago. While his methods of obtaining that title were questionable, this was still huge news because we could finally figure out what becoming a pirate legend actually entails. This could have been the turning point that brought players back by showing us that the game is indeed a grind but the endgame content is well worth the effort.
Yeah, that didn’t happen. It turns out that becoming a pirate legend grants you access to more of the same quests you’ve played over the past 49 levels, a few new customization options and a secret outpost reserved only for pirate legends. This was devastating news equivalent of when you opened up your presents on Christmas morning as a kid expecting to find GTA: Vice City only to realize that your mom got you Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (the game) instead. Sidenote: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (the game) was severely underrated.
This whole controversy regarding missing content reminded me of another game that came out just a few years ago. No Man’s Sky. Let me get this out there before I go any further. Sea of Thieves is NOT the same as No Man’s Sky. Rare, to their credit, have delivered on all of their promises regarding content in the game. We just didn’t think that they told us everything. Hello Games and No Man’s Sky promised multiplayer, countless large scale battles, distinct ship classes and more insane things at launch that are only now starting to come to fruition.
Despite them not being the same, both games do share some similar issues. Sea of Thieves carried a massive amount of hype coming into its launch only rivaling the hype that No Man’s Sky had before its 2016 release. If you don’t believe me here is a fun fact for you: The Sea of Thieves closed beta back in January was the top watched game on Twitch and Mixer for a period of time. A closed beta beat out juggernauts like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Fortnite to be the top streamed game on multiple platforms. This ridiculous amount of hype put Sea of Thieves (which I will now be calling SoT for convenience purposes) on a pedestal that it probably shouldn’t have ever been on. I’m one of those people who did just that. I consistently praised SoT during its betas, claiming that this will be Microsoft’s most successful game of this generation and turn things around for the console. Yeah in hindsight I probably shouldn’t have said that. My bad….I guess.
Does that mean that it’s our fault SoT didn’t meet expectations? Eh….Well, we didn’t help anything by crowning the game before it released but we aren’t the ones who put out an unfinished product. After playing through all of the content this pirate adventure game had to offer and after watching how everything turned out, it seemed like Microsoft and Rare wanted to push SoT out now for two reasons. First, Microsoft needed an impressive AAA title exclusive to promote Xbox Game Pass going into E3. Second, other than Far Cry 5, there were no other major games competing with SoT for sales. The best course of action Microsoft could’ve taken was to push the game back to for a Fall 2018 or early 2019 release date. You may have taken more of a hit regarding your initial sales but at least your game would have been finished and would be alive two weeks after launch. Because as the game stands right now, I can’t see any rational reason why anyone would spend $60 or an extended period of time on this. Even the $10 Xbox Game Pass subscription could be a tough decision to make depending on how much you like the other available titles in the game pass library.
Sea of Thieves failed to meet expectations due to both the developers pushing out an unfinished product and us as the consumers putting the game on a pedestal that it couldn’t live up to but everything is still salvageable if Rare and Microsoft would just quit patting themselves on the back. For those of you who don’t know, Sea of Thieves has become the fastest-selling new IP of this generation for Microsoft and they haven’t been shy about praising their new IP. Thanks guys, you put out a game that outsold Cuphead and Sunset Overdrive, you might as well pack it up now because you won’t top that. No, don’t actually do that. Fix your issues before everyone loses interest in this game and tell us you have a real plan to add substantial content that is worth our time and effort. Everything I’m looking for in a great pirate game is right there. Jaw-dropping visuals, hilarious gameplay with friends and intense PVP that always keeps you engaged but none of it will matter if the game is just designed (long-term) for us to “have fun”. Add meaningful progressions, add some noticeable customization options and for the love of whatever God you pray to please come up with more shanties to play because anytime I hear one of those stupid songs again I’m just going to jump overboard.
What do you think about Sea of Thieves? Is it still salvageable in your eyes? Why do you think it failed to meet expectations? Let us know in the comments and be sure to follow us here at The Nerd Stash for the best coverage of all of the latest news, reviews, and anything else Nerd Culture has to offer.