Back in 2015, Microsoft revealed Rare’s newest IP, Sea of Thieves. The upcoming action-adventure game showcased a sun-soaked world, with chaotic seas and infinite possibilities for gameplay. Sharing the world with your friends and discovering the secrets hidden throughout make this a game with no limit to its untold stories.

Since the game’s reveal, Rare has been bringing the game along, adding new features and embellishing what the ultimate experience will be. They also brought in gamers to help test the world and its new features. The alpha certainly is providing developers with valuable insights on how to make Sea of Thieves better.

When Microsoft thinks about creating new franchises, there are a number of factors that come to mind. Given the current demands of gamers, cooperative elements are a near essential concept. Xbox’s Phil Spencer recently spoke about the concepts they embrace for new games as well as the boldness of Rare to create a new franchise.

“I think it’s our job to create something I can enjoy by myself, with my friends and against my friends. It’s that sense of minute-to-minute achievement that I have through successfully thwarting your attack on our ship, but also the long-term achievement. When I think about the history of Rare and some of the amazing games that have come out of this place, the team has a great [ability to capture] a unique style, humor and accessibility to the way a game looks, and getting the short-term and long-term engagement right.

“I love the fact that we’re taking Rare, one of the historic studios in gaming, and you guys are trying to do something new. Creating a new IP is always risky, ton of fun, but also a ton of challenge. [You’re] trying to build a game you’ve never built before…I think that’s what we should be doing in first party. It [shows] great growth in Rare. It’s fun to be a part of it,” Spencer said in a new video.

Creating new franchises is always a risk in the gaming industry. That has always been true, no matter the developer, no matter the point in a console’s life-cycle. Despite its inherent risks, discovering new brands is something that makes gaming such an incredible business.

As I mentioned above, the inclusion of its community is something Rare wanted to emphasize from the beginning of Sea of Thieves‘ development. This will only lead to a more gamer-focused experience. Spencer gave his thoughts on Rare’s approach with this new game.

“The team is doing an amazing job with the way you’re bringing the community along the journey. Things you do like this and the blogs you post. Games are one of the few art forms out there where you can bring the community along and you’re product gets better. Yes, there’s focus testing for movies, but…I love the fact that games themselves can be community-driven.

“We’re on a journey with Sea of Thieves in the way that Rare has engaged their community and grown it…The team is managing their technical capability, creative road map and community all at the same time, and we’re going to learn, but I think it’s absolutely the right thing for the team to be doing and I think you’re doing a really good job at it,” Spencer said.

It will be interesting to see when Sea of Thieves exits the alpha stage. I presume this summer will see the game enter the beta phase. Perhaps Rare will give us an update on the game at E3 2017 this June. I’m betting that’ll happen and they’ll announce a more formal public beta for the fall.

Sea of Thieves is a game that will surely live on for years to come. While its ultimate launch may not come until sometime during 2018, this experience feels like one Microsoft is expecting to have very long legs to it. Spencer discussed this very sentiment as well as how they’ll continue to listen to fans.

“This is a multi-year journey for us. While it has been a multi-year journey to get to this point, and I’m encouraged by what we’ll see this year, the thinking that this is a long-term growth for the franchise for Rare, and frankly our service and platform, you have to go into it that way. Frankly, you have to build your opportunity to invest through that lens.

“When we think about this game and you and I go through the roadmap, this is a game that lives for multiple years in front of us. You have to have that approach. We’re going to grow it. We’re going to learn and there will be things that we don’t do as well as we wish. There will be areas that emerge that we had no idea people would be interested in and we’ll go chase those things. That’s all part of what we’re trying to do here,” Spencer said.

Microsoft will host its E3 2017 press briefing on Sunday, June 11. The firm will make its formal reveal of Project Scorpio during the event and many game announcements will be a part of the showcase as well. Sea of Thieves will launch on Xbox One and Windows 10. Stick around here at We Write Things for more on Sea of Thieves.

About Steve Ruygrok

Gaming, Spirits, and Craft Beer enthusiast. If you say you don't like beer, then you just haven't had the right type yet. Great spirits keep away the bad ones. Video games are kind of amazing, just do it...or something like that.
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