The Sea of Thieves closed beta is over now, and as noted by Eurogamer, 330,052 players sailed the seas last week, spending around 2,000,000 hours with the game. The closed beta was also extremely popular on Mixer and Twitch, gaining over 14 million hours of watch time and landing in #1 spot on both platforms. These numbers are impressive given that the Sea of Thieves beta had a rocky start due to technical glitches. Because of this, though, Rare ended up extending it two days since many players were initially unable to join.
The numbers aren’t the only thing that’s impressive. With vast islands, numerous treasures, and a heavy multi-layered gameplay that’s focused on co-operative play, Sea of Thieves as a whole is an ambitious game, and it’s the exclusive that Xbox has been needing for a while. Only time will tell, though, if the game is enough to restore faith in Xbox’s investment of first-party exclusives.
Seeing trailers for Sea of Thieves, has nothing on actually playing it for yourself. It’s an immersive experience that’s aesthetically beautiful and filled with charm. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever seen waters that blue in a game, and that respond in such a realistic way to different types of weather. I didn’t have any extremely high expectations going in, but finally having hands-on time with Sea of Thieves did feel surreal and proved to be a worthwhile experience.
That’s not to say the game doesn’t have it’s share of hangups, and those can be frustrating, depending on your typical play style. For those who don’t normally gravitate toward multi-player titles, Sea of Thieves does have an option to “sail alone”, but once you’re on the waters yourself, it’s clear the game was designed to primarily support co-operative play. It will be interesting to see what, if any, adjustments Rare makes between now and the release.
Sea of Thieves sets sail on March 20th exclusively for Xbox One and PC. The game is currently available for pre-order.