The Inner Circle Podcast team had an opportunity to chat with the head of Rare Ltd., Craig Duncan. They talked about keeping the upcoming pirate adventure Sea of Thieves fresh for players, how the development of the game has changed Rare as a studio and Craig even shared his thoughts about remastering old Rare mascots such as Banjo or Conker.
Sea of Thieves began with a simple question the developers at Rare asked each other. Could they give players a pirate adventure that would let players create fantastic memories and also provide fresh experiences when the game is played several months or even two years later? “I think Sea of Thieves is very unlike other games,” Duncan said. “We’ve taken some very bold decisions in the kind of game we’re trying to make.”
When you think about a typical video game campaign, you will see it is more or less a path the designers created for the player to follow. Sea of Thieves takes a different approach. While the game does provide you with a number of goals to guide you on your path towards becoming a legendary pirate, it does not drown you in menus and HUDs or XP bars. The idea is to create an immersive world that lets players create their own narratives and memories. You won’t have to worry about about a “Level Up” notification or a waypoint notification splashing on your screen and breaking your immersion. If you spend a fair amount of time playing Sea of Thieves you will likely find yourself reminiscing with friends about that battle with the Kraken or a particularly intense battle with another player ship over a treasure chest. As Duncan notes, the goal is for you to boot up the game because you had so much fun last time, not to level up your character.
But will players run out of interesting things to do in Sea of Thieves? Duncan is confident that the game will be a very different experience six months from now, a year from now or even two years into the future. Sea of Thieves was always intended to be a journey that could last for years. Rare has a large team in place working on new content for the game and has secured a large chest of funds from Microsoft to fund further development according to Craig Duncan.
How do the developers at Rare feel about Sea of Thieves launching on Xbox Game Pass? “When we had the conversation… does Sea of Thieves want to be the first…first party game day and date on Game Pass? My answer was an overwhelming yes,” said Duncan. “I love this idea of people discovering Sea of Thieves just because it’s there and there’s buzz about it. More people playing Sea of Thieves is a good thing.”
The interview will go live on our YouTube channel, The Inner Circle Podcast YouTube channel very shortly.