With more than 10 million players, Microsoft has now slapped the label of “most successful new IP this generation” onto Sea of Thieves. The game now has more than 10 million players, and continues going strong. The strength of the IP comes down to a couple of factors. Sure, the appeal of a high seas adventure is part of it, but Rare pushing out consistent new content is also important.
Developer Rare has held onto the idea of a pirate sim for years, with echoes of the idea dating all the way back to the mid 1990’s. The first iterations of the idea even gave rise to some of their more famous games,like Banjo-Kazooie, before finally being crystallized as a full swashbuckling adventure. The game was first announced in 2015, to a storm of hype thanks in no small part to the popularity of games like Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag. Sea of Thieves would eventually be released for the Xbox One and PC and published by Microsoft Studios.
“For everyone at Rare, the Sea of Thieves community represents the very best of what gaming can be,” said executive producer Joe Neate in a post on Xbox Wire. “It’s mind-blowing to think of that many people setting sail on the Sea of Thieves,” added Neate, and expressed that the team is “excited and humbled” by the response from players. The developer also teased the next update for the game. “Legends of the Seas” goes live on January 15, and players who log-in to Sea of Thieves between January 15 and 22 will snag a free custom sail and new emote.
Of course Sony and Nintendo are sort of celebrating this news, at least the fans are. The Xbox One is the clear third place console this generation. The console has sold around 41 million units since it’s rough 2013 launch. The PS4 has massively outsold both the Microsoft and Nintendo options though, pushing more than 106 million units since it’s 2013 launch. The real surprise is the Nintendo Switch though, which has managed to push over 40 million units in just 3 years. This pace puts the hybrid portable console on a similar growth pattern to the PS4 and Wii, making it a clear contender for the top spot, given enough time.