Sea of Thieves is enjoying an excellent start to 2019. After a series of free expansion packs, events, and balance tweaks throughout 2018, the game is getting a whole new audience, thanks to some of the biggest names on Twitch.
The most recent expansion pack, Shrouded Spoils, is largely to thank for the recent surge of interest in the game. Rare increased the frequency of PvE events in the world, including krakens, megalodons, and skeleton ships, with Shrouded Spoils. The recent Reaper’s Mark flag also helps, allowing players to mark themselves on the map as ready to rumble, and increasing your chances of PvP.
Despite these changes, the core gameplay of Sea of Thieves has always been a blast to watch. The goofy, colorful pirate antics are fun, clear to follow, and give any player a chance to claim victory. There’s a very easy set of parameters to follow. Is there another ship? Do they have treasure on that ship? Do you want that treasure? Well, then you have everything you need for a fight.
Sea of Thieves has consistently hit the top three of titles streaming on Twitch lately, going toe to toe with games like Fortnite and League of Legends.
Summit1G, one of the biggest streamers to pick up the game recently, gave a wonderful showcase of the game’s best moments by nabbing a selection of extremely valuable end-game loot, including multiple Athena’s chests, amid ship combat and swashbuckling.
In the wake of Summit adopting Sea of Thieves, other major streamers have adopted the game as well, including Dr Disrespect and Ninja. The upcoming expansion, The Arena, will likely prove even more fruitful for these streamers, as the point of the game mode is to provide fast-paced combat and competition in shorter game sessions.
The existing community of Sea of Thieves has mixed feelings on these streamers. For many fans, seeing the game get attention and acclaim after a rocky launch in 2018 is a vindication for the game they love. Other players are concerned that a flood of new fans may disrupt the existing culture that Rare has cultivated among their player base. An influx of new players can be challenging for many games, but my own in-game experiences have made me confident that Rare and Sea of Thieves players can handle them just fine.