Sea of Thieves won’t have lootboxes, but there are microtransactions for pets

As is common with most modern online games, it became apparent that Rare’s upcoming Sea of Thieves would include microtransactions shortly after launch.

The discovery was made by a group of hackers who managed to data mine the game’s files during its beta phase. Tucked away inside those files were details around a premium marketplace – cue flames being fanned by those online.

Now though, after a lengthy interview with US Gamer, Rare is reassuring its fans that they have nothing to worry about. On launch, Sea of Thieves will be a microtransaction-free place to play. In time, though, they will arrive.

“We’ve got to consider that there are people continuing to work on this game and they can’t work for free—we have to consider how we continue to bring in revenue,” explained Rare executive producer Joe Neate.

“After a few months, this is when we want to be rolling out the first expansions for the game,” says Neate. “When we bring in our first major update, that’s when we want to add the option for players to spend money, if they want.”


Neate revealed that this optional spend wouldn’t come in the form of controversial lootboxes. Instead Rare is about giving players the option to spend without making the experience worse for those who decide they don’t want to.

“You’re going to know what you’re buying, so there won’t be anything like loot boxes,” Neate explained. “We thought about what the right way was to allow people to spend money in our game, and for us, it’s about the social side of things, because that’s what’s special about Sea of Thieves.”

The first paid-for piece of content will come in the form of pets and, unless you want to actually own a pet yourself, you won’t have to pay for the content to still interact with pets in Sea of Thieves. In time, more paid-for content will arrive but, as Neate insists, it won’t change from its model of defined paid-for content instead of random drops and new outfits. One plan is for a personal secret hideout once you become a Pirate Legend.

Neate stops short of saying you’ll be able to purchase new content for your hideout, but he does state that those who obtain Pirate Legend status will find themselves with access to new merchants. New merchants could mean new quests and, therefore, a potential avenue for new content to come in the form of DLC for those who want to continue playing Sea of Thieves.

The hope is that Rare can win people over in the first place to Sea of Thieves’ interesting take on the open-world, shared-world adventure space. One such method will be through Microsoft’s Game Pass system that allows Xbox One players to access the latest and greatest from Microsoft’s studios for a monthly subscription fee. Sea of Thieves will be the first title to arrive on the platform, and could spell secret success for Rare’s pirate adventure game.

Sea of Thieves: What you need to know

Sea of Thieves release date: When is it coming out?

Rare announced that its shared-world pirate adventure Sea of Thieves would finally be releasing on 20 March 2018 on Xbox One and Windows 10.

It was also announced that those who pre-order the game, will receive special clothing to wear as part of the “Black Dog Pack” once the beta is over.

Microsoft also announced it would be releasing a limited edition wireless controller that has a translucent deep purple colour with a glow in the dark skull and a golden trigger. Interestingly, you can pick up the controller from 15 February for £64.99 and includes a 14-day trial of Xbox Live Gold and the Xbox Game Pass along with exclusive Ferryman clothing set for your Sea of Thieves character.

If you’re curious to know more about Sea of Thieves you can give our hands-on preview a read on the next page.

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