Rare’s Sea of Thieves is one of gaming’s biggest enigmas right now. The once legendary development studio has largely fallen by the wayside since that dramatic $375 million acquisition by Microsoft, but there’s the inkling they could be back onto something special with its grog-fuelled pirate-em-up. Rare has opened up a little about its long term plans for the series, which includes a Destiny-style stream of additional content and updates for “years and years.”
Speaking to Official Xbox Magazine, executive producer Joe Neate said “we believe so strongly in the vision for this, and so strongly in how we can grow and evolve this over time. You know, we want to be working on this for years and years, and just growing, and evolving, and getting more players in, and having more stories and more amazing moments.”
The plan appears to be to add a regular supply of content updates to keep players hooked for the long-term, returning regularly for more adventures on the high seas.
Part of the appeal of Sea of Thieves boils down to how it looks though, which thankfully sees Rare stepping away from slapping eyes on any inanimate object in order to anthropomorphise it. Instead, Sea of Thieves uses a gorgeous chunky art style with cell shading and heaps of character. And the waves…. Drool. I think Rare would find it fair to say it doesn’t look like the biggest pixel pusher in the world, but developing smart is Rare’s forte - “our game looks great because we purposefully made this timeless art style. It’s not something that relied on the latest technological advancements to look great,” explains Neate. “We didn’t want it to suddenly look shit in a year’s time, right? We want this game to last for years, and we don’t want to have to be constantly updating it and chasing our tails.”
It’s hard to argue he isn’t right there; Sea of Thieves appears to be a game that will look every bit as great in five years as it does now. Whether we’ll still be playing it then is another matter entirely. Whatever the case, Rare is keen to ensure Sea of Thieves runs on a massive range of PC gaming devices, and that it looks great regardless of the hardware, “from a minimum-spec PC all the way up to a 4K monster.” We’re still waiting on the system requirements for Sea of Thieves to be made public, and Rare is still busy “trying to push the min spec down as low as possible.” It sounds as if there’s going to be an excellent degree of scalability in terms of Sea of Thieves visuals and performance, which is great to hear.
Sea of Thieves is due to launch in the first half of 2018 on PC and Xbox One.