Rare's Sea of Thieves hits 40 million players across Xbox and Windows PC

Sea of Thieves gold piles
(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

What you need to know

  • Sea of Thieves first launched for Xbox and Windows PC (via the Microsoft Store) on March 20, 2018. 
  • The game was later brought to Steam in June 2020, by which point it had reached 20 million players. 
  • As of April 2024, Sea of Thieves has reached 40 million players across Xbox consoles and PC. 
  • Sea of Thieves is set to launch on PlayStation 5 on April 30, 2024.

Rare and Xbox Game Studios' pirate adventure is continuing to grow.

Ahead of its upcoming launch on PlayStation 5, Sea of Thieves has reached 40 million  players across Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Windows PC, as shared by development studio Rare on Wednesday.

"40 million players across Xbox, Windows 10 and Steam is an amazing milestone to be able to talk about, and of course it wouldn’t have happened without you – our brilliant, positive and welcoming community, who continue to surprise and impress us with your creativity and antics out on the waves," says executive producer Joe Neate. 

How has Sea of Thieves grown over the years?

Sea of Thieves first launched back on March 20, 2018 for Xbox One consoles and Windows PC via the Microsoft Store. Despite being included day one with Xbox Game Pass — Sea of Thieves was the first first-party game from Microsoft to be included in the service day one — it was the second best-selling game of March 2018 in the U.S. 

The game has grown tremendously since then, with Rare providing frequent updates that have added new regions and effects, new threats, Tall Tales story content, crossovers with Pirates of the Caribbean and Monkey Island, and more. Sea of Thieves then came to Steam in June 2020, and has sold over five million copies on that platform alone, reaching 25 million players total in 2021 and getting a dedicated Xbox Series X|S upgrade. 

Even more ambitious updates are coming in Sea of Thieves' future, with Rare outlining additions for 2024 that include Owl pets, new weapons, a new roaming ship threat, and much, much more.

As one of the four games Microsoft is bringing to other platforms — alongside Obsidian Entertainment's Grounded and Pentiment as well as Tango Gameworks' Hi-Fi Rush — Sea of Thieves is slated to launch on PlayStation 5 on April 30, 2024. For a time, it was the #1 most preordered game on PlayStation

Analysis: From one of the biggest Xbox games to one of the biggest games, period

Sea of Thieves has faced challenges, especially early on, but the team at Rare conquered those challenges with aplomb. Indeed, Sea of Thieves is one of the most ideal live-service games out there, and the fact it's reached 40 million players across Xbox and PC is testament to that fact. 

When it expands to PlayStation 5, I'm expecting it to explode even further. This might be bullish, but I predict we'll get the announcement it's crossed 50 million players before the end of 2024.

Samuel Tolbert
Freelance Writer

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.

  • HeyCori
    This game doesn't have a real progression system. Heck, unless something changed recently, it doesn't even have a real character creator! And yet it's still going strong. Very impressive. Still, I'd love to see Rare make a regular single player game.