Sea of Thieves Owes Its Success to More Than Just Xbox Game Pass, Rare Says

Rare found a hit on its hands with Sea of Thieves, a live-service adventure game where players explore the seven seas as jolly pirates. While the launch of Sea of Thieves was notable for being Rare's first new IP launch in years, the release was also a big coming out for Xbox Game Pass, the debut of Microsoft allowing subscribers day one access to Xbox first party games like Sea of Thieves for $9.99 a month.

So when Sea of Thieves became a hit, it was interesting to see how Game Pass may have contributed to Sea of Thieves' success. But according to Rare producer Joe Neate, the real driver of players to Sea of Thieves was another in-house Microsoft app: Mixer, along with streaming services in general.

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Jimboms154d ago

It's totally true. the sales are still up this far after launch because people dropped off the free pass version and bought the actual game.

gangsta_red154d ago

And retail didn't die either. It's pretty amazing.

BiggerBoss154d ago

Idk, if it weren't for gamepass, this game probably would have flopped.

gangsta_red154d ago

Thank goodness for Game Pass then!

BiggerBoss154d ago

I know right? This way Microsoft won't have to close any more studios. Even if a game flops critically, it'll still make money on gamepass.

gangsta_red154d ago (Edited 154d ago )

Thank goodness SoT didn't flop critically and made money on both Game Pass and retail. This way MS can buy 5 more studios or more!!

343_Guilty_Spark154d ago


Good thing we don’t live in a world of “IFs”

Prince_TFK153d ago


“I know right? This way Microsoft won't have to close any more studios. Even if a game flops critically, it'll still make money on gamepass.”

You make it sound like it is a bad thing. I, for once, happy that Gamepass can help push games to more consumers. You people would be prasing Sony to no end if they have their own Gamepass.

BiggerBoss153d ago


How am I making it sound like a bad thing?

Closing studios is a bad thing, it's a good thing that they won't have to do that anymore.

IamTylerDurden1153d ago (Edited 153d ago )


Retail has been dead. Sea of Thieves sold 200k physical the first week and 86k week 2. It's currently at 440K sold on VG. I don't believe it even charted top 10 after week 2. VG's numbers are a couple weeks old but based on the trend Sea of Thieves probably hasn't even sold 600K at retail. VG accounts for physical sales and they seem to stop tracking after a while, but the physical numbers are roughly accurate the first few months. Sea of Thieves flopped at retail.

The way Microsoft has advertised the "record breaking" sales of SoT is troubling. They announced 4 million players at E3 and if you check the link to the physical numbers someone in the comments section actually said "this game is under tracked, Microsoft just announced 4 million copies sold at E3". People ON N4G said the game SOLD 2 million back when Microsoft boasted about great sales and 2 million in one week.

Even in this article people are confused, they believe the game SOLD some crazy number. Sea of Thieves flopped at retail and the majority of the 4 million users have been from Game Pass/Game Pass free trials.

IamTylerDurden1153d ago (Edited 153d ago )


"thank goodness Sea of Thieves didn't flop critically"

Are you joking? Do you believe the things you write or are you knowingly pumping bs?

Sea of Thieves is a 66 Open Critic

Sea of Thieves is a 69 Metacritic with 7 of the top 10 scores being from Xbox sites. Literally 6 of the 7 have the word "Xbox" in the site's name while the other is True Achievements. Sea of Thieves is Microsoft's equivalent of No Man's Sky except No Man's Sky sold better and has better reviews

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yomfweeee154d ago

Got proof to back that up?

neutralgamer1992153d ago

I know rare it's amazing how below average you game is yet it keeps selling. Don't be naive it's not you or the game Xbox gamers are desperate for exclusives

They buy anything that's coming there way, just look at PUBG it was broken at launch yet sold 5 million

Hopefully with this new investment ms made into acquiring new studios they will pay attention to quality standards too

Sircolby45153d ago (Edited 153d ago )

I'm a PC gamer and I love Sea of Thieves. I have already made pirate legend. I also have a PS4 Pro and a Nintendo Switch. Try again troll.

doggo84153d ago (Edited 153d ago )

Agreed. There really is nothing amazing about this game, at all.

neutralgamer1992153d ago


Troll really it's not like this game is 69/100 overall. Below average Gaas

slate91154d ago

Good game. Received the criticism it deserved. But just going to keep getting better

Razmiran153d ago

Sure, if you like mediocre games its okay I guess

ClanPsi1153d ago

Look how popular Fortnight and PUBG are. The average gamer has no taste and loves garbage.

153d ago Replies(4)
dreue153d ago

Good game? Lol god of war is a good game, detroit is a good game, this is just i cant even say it is a game....

shaggy2303153d ago


Have you even played it? I'm going to presume the answer is no.

I've played Sea of Thieves and can honestly say its a fun game, is it perfect? no, but as a co-op game it is an absolute blast.

I haven't played God of War and I don't go around making comments about games I haven't played, how about you do the same.

dreue153d ago

Shaggy since i cant reply to you, i will tell you that i try the game on pc with some friends.... And it is ok with friends.... I can have some fun, but when they ask 50 euros and it is so empty when it came out.... Enemy's are bad jist skeletons lol.... And after main stuff you dont have much to do.... I stop playing after the second day.... I cant support developers that give game like this to the people and ask full price... When thry spend 4 years + on this game, and then they deliver this.... Sorry but i look to god of war and than to this one and man.... Bad move from rare at least for me.... Since god of war makes people buy a console, i cant say the same for this one... That is my humble opinion. Cheers mate no hate here ok.....

PhantomS42154d ago

Success? The game was an utter failer critically and in player reception.

RpgSama154d ago (Edited 154d ago )

Yes, on their matrix of how many battleships were sunk, Sea of Thieves keeps performing amazingly well

BiggerBoss154d ago

The 🤑 doesn't make the game any better😂

154d ago
RpgSama154d ago


Autocorrect took over, but let's say I cannot spell, it's still true.

TFJWM153d ago

If it had good sales they would announce the numbers not this...

thisismyaccount153d ago

... did you know, they are remaking the classic DUMBO .. . . . . . hint hint.

Hungryalpaca149d ago

So COD and FIFA are the best games ever made then?

chiefJohn117148d ago

@ hungry uh cod and FIFA are two of the most successful franchises of all time. Thanks for making my point lol🤑 is what it is all about

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cfc83154d ago

Critics missed the point. This game brings people together like no other. Yes it lacks content right now, but it does things no other game has.

BiggerBoss154d ago

What does it do that "no other" has done before?

Muzikguy154d ago

What does it do that other games haven't? I'm thinking that other games HAVE done what this is doing and have also been ridiculed for it. Probably had more content to them as well

PhantomS42154d ago

Rare missed the point that a game needs content and releasing it so many months later for what should have been in the initial release for extra money is very scummy of Rare. The fact that more than 50% of the player base dropped the game after the Games pass trial was over shows how uninterested people are.

dreue153d ago

Brings people together? You know what brings people together life, fucking life not a game.... And please lets not call this a game ok....

thisismyaccount153d ago

A congregation of sheeples, that´s what culture has come to. Apple, Nintendo and now Microsoft and their devote-rabid-fam.

"It´s okay, it´s empty right now, cal only do the same task over and over again ... EVENTUALLY it will get better. I know it, my balls are itching! Always a good sign when testicles itch!"

Enjoy playing the same crap for another 24 months. Hopefully by then your bubble will have bursted by then, letting you free ...

Hungryalpaca149d ago

New iPhone releases bring groups of friends together to line up and camp together outside. What’s your point?

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Sciurus_vulgaris154d ago (Edited 154d ago )

It is rather disappointing that Sea of Thieves can receive worse reception than Quantum Break and Sunset Overdrive, yet still outsells the previously mentioned objectively higher quality games.

DivineAssault 154d ago

And you nailed the problem with xbox. Now those good games arent going to be encouraged.

BiggerBoss154d ago

Gamepass is the future of Xbox.

Microsoft can release subpar games and not have to worry about them flopping because of the monthly subscription.

chiefJohn117154d ago (Edited 153d ago )

Did you ever think for a second that maybe.....just maybe.....ppl actually enjoyed it? 😵 Mind blown huh? A critics don't make or break every game and ppl will buy what interest them. Fortnite is a 3/10 from me but that's not stopped ppl from playing and the game make dough. Ppl trash lootboxes but that's not stopping ppl from spending money. Money talks and BS walks. SoD 2 was dragged through the mud yet I've been enjoying
it as much if not more than the first.

153d ago
Magnetar154d ago

The thing is sea of thieves isn’t a bad game, it just lacks content.

PhantomS42154d ago

Which makes it a bad game if there is nothing to do or compel players to return.

TheCommentator153d ago

@ Phantom

The core gameplay is great so it's not a bad game and new content will compel players to return.

Was PS4 bad when their lineup was sparse? Of course not, because new content arrived that made up for Sony's lack of games and no one cares any longer about the sparse lineup being a past transgression. You would be wise to move on from the SoT trolling just the same.

combatcash153d ago

Sea of thieves is a great experience with friends, and generally on XBOX,multiplayer games thrive. Look at pub g,halo, state of decay 2, gears of war etc. Multiplayer games generally have a longer shelve life on the xbox, this dates back to the halo2 days. I think MS has the right idea with their games, they're looking to implement a social aspect on most of their games, which IMO brings greater value. As an example I'm not big on racing games, but Forza Horizon looked pretty damn good/fun. If you're a Sony/Playstation fanboy, I can see why your interest in these type of games isn't there. Most of Sony's multiplayer games aren't that great, or don't stay active for long, their bread and butter is in their single player games. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that, but IMO most of their single player games are starting to blend.

153d ago Replies(1)
doggo84153d ago

Agreed, especially with sunset overdrive. It's pathetic and makes me cringe that such a below par, barbones game can sell better than a quality title like sunset.

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Wotbot154d ago

The game is so much fun, the water effects are the best in the business and there’s no other game on the market that captures a pirate adventure as good as this game.

ShadowWolf712154d ago

Sid Meier's Pirates, Assassin's Creed IV, that Ubisoft Pirate game given there's actually stuff to do...

Wotbot154d ago (Edited 154d ago )

There’s stuff to do, have you played the game? And more planned.

It’s not just quest that make the content, it’s what you do the world, let you imagination be the content because there’s so much you can do in SOT, look at what you can do with just a cooking pot for example, who would have thought it could be that much fun, so many reviews missed this point and it was a big point of the game.

ShadowWolf712154d ago

Yes, clearly the world was wrong and the fanboys were right.

Bruh154d ago (Edited 154d ago )

@Shadow Wolf
You can't even get off the boat in Skull And there is literally no land exploration. That already makes it pale in comparison to Sea of Thieves. Now it still doesn't have a lot of content, but its added a good amount and you're getting 2 large expansions for FREE coming up. I think it deserves all the hate it got at launch, but if the Sony Knights on this site can give games like GT and DC a pass, because of the numerous free updates its got, why not this game?

Jinger153d ago

Skull and Bones is literally only ship gameplay. You cannot get off and explore islands or under the sea. No land combat at all.

I wouldn't really call that better...

ShadowWolf712153d ago

Yes. You can get off the boat and... kill skeletons and catch chickens. Over and over and over and over and....

FFS No Man's Sky is more of a game than this, including at launch. Y'all whack. lmao

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chiefJohn117153d ago

They gotta add the flying Dutchman next.

doggo84153d ago

"It’s not just quest that make the content, it’s what you do the world, let you imagination be the content because there’s so much you can do in SOT, look at what you can do with just a cooking pot for example, who would have thought it could be that much fun, so many reviews missed this point and it was a big point of the game."

LMAO wow you xbox owners truly are getting the short end of the stick

Hungryalpaca149d ago

I just love how they HAVE to use their imagination to make the game good lol.

I guess the sticks I used to play with in the backyard beats a real sword because hat stick can be a gun or a dinosaur the next minute.

Hungryalpaca149d ago

How does it capture the pirate life like no other adventure? ACIV did pirating much better and it was barely a pirate game.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 149d ago