Rare’s freeform online pirate game, Sea of Thieves, is breaking out of the Microsoft Store on PC and heading to Steam on 3rd June. It’s a move that will hopefully see the game gain a wider audience on what is still by far the biggest digital storefront for PC games.
Since March 2018, the game has been available for purchase on Xbox One and PC via Microsoft’s own stores, as well as being one of the many incentives to check out an Xbox Game Pass subscription. However, since last year Microsoft have committed to bringing their games to Steam on PC, reaching out to an audience that’s just a little bit partisan at times.
Sea of Thieves will follow in the footsteps of Gears 5 last September, before Halo: The Master Chief Collection’s PC port, and another Rare game, Bleeding Edge, and more. While this might dilute some of Microsoft’s control over their games, it’s just one part of their increasingly liberal and open gaming business model.
Sea of Thieves launched back in March 2018 to slightly bemused fanfare. After years of build up, critics and players alike were a touch confused over what you could do in the game outside of attacking other players and taking on treasure hunting fetch quests. Still, there was an undoubted allure to it, despite the lack of content.
I wrote in our Sea of Thieves review:
“Sea of Thieves defies modern gaming conventions in brilliant and refreshing fashion, creating a fairly unique sandbox where you and your crew need to find your own fun. It might be in real need of more variety to the quests and activities, but Sea of Thieves’ curious charms are like a siren’s song that keep drawing me back for more piratical adventures on the high seas.”
Thankfully, Rare were quick to realise their failings and started to develop new content for the game. This came in the form of in-game events, new sea monsters, a PvP mode, and some narrative adventures to follow. Most recently, you’ve been able to become and Emissary and get a pet cat. All of this adds up to an experience that is much better fleshed out than it was at launch. It will be interesting to see how the Steam community reacts to the game.