Microsoft has claimed that Sea of Thieves is ‘the fastest-selling first-party new IP of this generation’. The company stated that Rare’s pirate sandbox clocked up over a million players on launch day, and that the figure has already grown to more than two million players today.
In addition the publisher shared that the piratical adventure was the ‘best-selling Microsoft Studios first-party title on Windows 10’. It certainly is doing well on Twitch, where it was the fifth most popular game last time we checked – building on the beta’s 14m hours.
That’s all a huge vindication of Rare’s vision, in creating what is both an accessible title yet also a deeply radical design, which concentrates on breaking down barriers between players and encouraging cooperation. Read our full interview with studio head Craig Duncan for more on that.
Judging the exact success of Sea of Thieves was always going to be tricky, given the paucity of digital sales figures available. It went straight to No.1 in the UK of course, but this kind of games-as-a-service title was always going to tend to digital sales, plus with it selling though the Microsoft store, rather than on Steam, we wouldn’t get any hints that way either.
In addition, it led the charge onto Xbox Game Pass, with all future Microsoft first-party exclusives to follow. So there’s presumably an ocean full of pirates out there playing the game without Microsoft having racked up a full-priced sale, though at £8 a month Microsoft will still be pulling in the money in the long-term.
So with all that going on, it’s rather handy that Microsoft hasn’t been shy in coming forward and trumpeting its success – or should that be Hurdy-Gurdying its success?