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Sea of Thieves Seasons interview: The future of this pirate voyage with Joe Neate and Mike Chapman

Sea Of Thieves Season One
Sea Of Thieves Season One (Image credit: Xbox)

Season One of Sea of Thieves is now live. While this update doesn't necessarily bring the most headline-worthy additions in regards to brand new content, it aims to completely redefine rewards and progression in the game. I recently sat down with Executive Producer Joe Neate and Creative Director Mike Chapman to chat about this seasonal approach, the Plunder Pass, and the future of Sea of Thieves.

There are some big changes coming for long-time and new players alike. The team at Rare has listened to feedback and wants to make sure every moment of your adventures on the seas feels rewarding. If you're looking for insights into the Renown system, the business of running a live-service game, the possibility of evil mermaids, and more, there's some great information here.

What do these changes mean for Sea of Thieves players?

Sea Of Thieves Lost Shipment

Source: Xbox (Image credit: Source: Xbox)

There's almost an overwhelming amount of ways to progress or earn new rewards for new players setting sail in this pirate sandbox for the first time, but for seasoned adventurers or Pirate Legends, the game has been missing a deeper sense of accomplishment. Mike Chapman acknowledged this flaw of pre-Seasons voyages in our interview, stating "there are currently so many rewarding moments in Sea of Thieves that go unrewarded." Thankfully, Renown and Pirate Trials completely redefine how players are rewarded in Sea of Thieves.

Your progress and sense of satisfaction are no longer exclusively tied to turning in your haul of treasure. If an unfortunate tangle with a ghost ship, a kraken, a megalodon, or even another enemy vessel leaves your sloop sinking to the deepest depths of the ocean, you can still feel some sense of progress. Previously, this would have meant that all the time you spent collecting your spoils was essentially wasted. Mike Chapman wants players to know that this loss will be drastically softened with Seasons claiming, "You always leave a session with a more tangible sense of progression."

The topics covered in our interview

  • What should players expect from Seasons in Sea of Thieves? - 01:24
    • Mike gives an overview of what a seasonal content approach means for the update cadence and roadmap for Sea of Thieves
  • What do Renown and Pirate Trails add to the experience? - 05:45
    • Mike explains how the new Renown progression system and challenges called Pirate Trials enrich the experience, especially for long-time players.
  • How much is the Plunder Pass and what do you get? - 10:50
    • Joe explains some of the logisitics behind the premium Plunder Pass and how they decided on the price and the name.
  • What does a 'Battle Pass' mean in Sea of Thieves? - 16:21
    • Joe and Mike detail their unique approach to a familiar and infamous term in the gaming industry.
  • Are hostile mermaids coming to the game and what does the future hold? - 17:28
    • Joe and Mike discuss how Seasons open up more possibilities for "epic" pieces of future content.
  • What features or changes are you most excited about? - 24:10
    • Our guests touch on the exciting things coming to Sea of Thieves in 2021 and why this will be the biggest year for the game.

Sea of Thieves is also available as part of Xbox Game Pass across Windows 10 PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S consoles.

Miles Dompier is a Freelance Video Producer for Windows Central, focusing on video content for Windows Central Gaming. In addition to writing or producing news, reviews, and gaming guides, Miles delivers fun, community-focused videos for the Windows Central Gaming YouTube channel. Miles also hosts Xbox Chaturdays every Saturday, which serves as the Windows Central Gaming weekly podcast.