Think of a game that hasn't been linked to the battle royale genre in the last year. Difficult, isn't it? Sea of Thieves has no plans to venture into last-person-standing territory as yet—but Rare would do so on its own terms, should it ever be considered.
That's according to design director Mike Chapman, who told Game Informer (opens in new tab) (via PCGamesN (opens in new tab)) he and his team would want to "put a unique Sea of Thieves spin" on the ever-popular mode if they ever took it on. He underlines Rare's desire to absorb player feedback, and that the game's ghost ship, for example, is a spin on an understood feature. A similar strategy would apply to battle royale.
"I think last year we said every sail on the horizon will always be a real player ship," Chapman tells Games Informer (opens in new tab). "Players started asking for skeleton ships, and we said, 'Let’s give it to them'... People also said it would be cool if we expanded the world, so we’ve expanded the world, but we’ve done it, and we made the gameplay fundamentally different in Devil’s Roar for Forsaken Shores.
"I think there are so many examples of content in the game where we’re like, we always talk about the death mechanics and we turned it into the ghost ship. We put a Sea of Thieves spin on a familiar mechanic with new and interesting takes. We see the battle royale thing, but I think there will be opportunities to do that kind of thing differently. It’s interesting where you can take PvP in the game, but we’d want to put a unique Sea of Thieves spin on it and do something completely surprising."
Rare studio head Craig Duncan adds: "It’s not about taking something that works super well in another game, and going, 'Hey, let’s start everyone in a Sea of Thieves map from different points and have you all come together.'"
Chapman explains acting on feedback is a crucial part of their process, as is keeping players on their toes. "We always want to surprise people," he says. "We want to keep doing these kinds of unexpected things that only we can do."
Check out Game Informer's lengthy interview with Chapman and Duncan here (opens in new tab).