Sea of Thieves is just over a month away from release, and although developer Rare will be helping its players simulate the life of a pirate, it’s keen on keeping its own shady practices to a minimum. As such, while microtransactions are a possibility somewhere down the line, the more controversial loot crates are not.
“What I will confirm is there are no microtransactions for launch. At all,” design director Mike Chapman tells PC Gamer. “Based on us continuing to build this game, we'll probably consider some form of microtransaction. What we will say is there will never be loot crates in Sea of Thieves. There'll never be a form of gambling in Sea of Thieves, of any description.”
This lines up with the information uncovered by dataminers during the beta, as a premium shop is hidden within the game’s code. Of course, now we know that this won’t be a launch feature and Rare has since confirmed that it is considering cosmetic microtransactions only. Pay-to-win mechanics are “completely out of the question,” emphasises Chapman.
Rare studio head Craig Duncan explained to Eurogamer that the first lot of microtransactions will be pets for players, with monkeys being confirmed among the selection. These animals will be creatures that anyone can handle in-game, which Duncan swears will lead to funny scenarios.
“It's entirely optional, but if you had a monkey, for example, you'll be able to hold it like you can other things in the game, but then I'll also be able to hold it, then drop it overboard, because that's funny,” Neate explained. “It'll come back. It'll be fine! I desperately want us to be able to fire other stuff out of cannons, including monkeys and other animals, just because it's fun, right?
Luckily, Rare’s push from multiplayer pirate experience is set to transition into a games as a service in one of the most elegant ways we’ve seen, with a focus on Rare learning from the mistakes of other developers while stressing it will be keeping its ear to the ground on player feedback.
“We obviously want to keep growing the game as a service,” Duncan said. “Part of that is, we'll look at things that make sense for Sea of Thieves in terms of the long-term digital business. As a new IP, it's really important to us that players know the value of the game. That goes for our digital business. 100 per cent, if you want to progress in Sea of Thieves, you play the game. That's a hard and fast principal to us,” concludes Duncan.
KitGuru Says: It seems as though the folks over at Rare have their heads screwed on despite recent controversies. Hopefully the studio’s actions reflect these intentions but so far, I’m on board! How do you feel about Rare’s attitude? Do you plan on getting Sea of Thieves or will you be walking the plank?