Sea of Thieves rolled out its closed beta last month, which brought out the best and worst of the PC Gamer team. Of its 332,052 total players, developer Rare has now revealed 32.4 percent of those played on PC—which my crude arithmetic informs me sits somewhere around the 107,584 mark.
Given this was a closed beta, accessible only via the Windows Store, that's quite a healthy portion of its overall showing.
"We're not out of the woods yet—there's still features I want to get in for launch," says PC design lead Ted Timmins. "I joined [Rare] two years ago, and our ambition since then has been to deliver the PC game that PC players expect. And that's hard. PC player expectations are higher than your average human, because we are better than the average human. Once you set that goal, you're shooting for the moon."
Timmins adds that Sea of Thieves' PC iteration is not an outsourced port, but an internally-developed project, made and launched alongside its console counterpart. As such, he's proud of his team and says he'd "love to one day read a forum post that says 'Rare made a PC game like all people should make PC games'."
Timmins then explores console-to-PC crossplay, and launching on the Windows Store.
"For me personally, the platform is just a way in which for you to get the game," he says. "But of course, there are communities built within that platform, and I think that's where people get passionate about, 'oh, we want it on Origin! Oh, we want it on Steam!' It's because those communities are passionate and have social spaces within those communities.
"But what we're saying as a Rare developer is, we're going to turn on crossplay. So, we actually have this as a story in the forum, where two mates who have been mates for ten years have never played a game together before because one was an Xbox player and one was a PC player. But in the technical alpha, they played a game together for the first time. And you look at that and think, 'that's really cool'. Yes it might not have been the community you're used to, but you're building new ones and making new friends within that community.
"Ultimately, as long as you've got Windows 10, you've got access to Sea of Thieves. And again, that's another powerful statement to us. The advantage for us is we build one game that goes to many devices, that's all wrapped up into crossplay, Xbox Play Anywhere, game pass, to give players more choice."
Sea of Thieves is due March 20—what settings will you run it on?
Additional reporting by Samuel Roberts.