From what I've gathered, success in Sea of Thieves' pirate world is hinged on dance parties, weathering high seas storms, and locking irritating strangers in the brig. I like this, and am equally keen on Rare's approach to loot boxes. Success will never, so says the developer, rely on microtransactions.
"What I will confirm is there are no microtransactions for launch. At all," design director Mike Chapman tells us during a recent studio visit. "Based on us continuing to build this game, we'll probably consider some form of microtransaction. What we will say is there will never be loot crates in Sea of Thieves."
Chapman continues, suggesting he and team aim to adopt a "new take" on the idea of cosmetic microtransactions, so long as they suit the game's world and tone, and don't divide its playerbase. "There'll never be a form of gambling in Sea of Thieves, of any description," he says, while underscoring that pay-to-win mechanics are "completely out of the question".
Chapman adds: "We'll try and do new and interesting things with it. So it won't just be like, 'oh, they've slapped microtransactions in the game, how interesting'. No, what's a Sea of Thieves way of doing it? What's going to bring value to our players? I think that's the way we'll do it."
Sea of Thieves is due March 20. In the meantime check out everything we know about the game's devastating Kraken water monsters.
Additional reporting by Samuel Roberts.