Rare have talked a little about their plans to monetise Sea of Thieves past its initial release.
The conversation of ‘games as service’ is still ongoing. How titles focus on post-launch monetisation is under a lot of scrutiny at the moment after some high-profile controversies in the latter half of last year like Destiny 2 and Star Wars Battlefront II. It’s left companies trying to scramble to keep necessary long tails on games without facing PR nightmares.
On that, Rare have talked a little bit about how micro-transactions will work in the upcoming Sea of Thieves. In conversation with PCGamer, design director Mike Chapman said that while the game will have micro-transactions, it won’t be at launch and it won’t have a gambling system like loot boxes.
What I will confirm is there are no microtransactions for launch. At all. 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.
There’ll never be a form of gambling in Sea of Thieves, of any description.
Chapman also noted that whatever the items your are purchasing in-game, it won’t be ‘pay-to-win’ and likely just cosmetic.
This is bound to please some players, who have grown increasingly concerned about the prevalence of lootboxes in modern AAA games. Of course, there will be those sceptical of these promises as they’ve been made and broken before. If this goes as proposed though, this seems fine to me. Some, of course, will argue there should be no micro-transactions at all, but it’s just too important to big games and their revenue these days. This seems like a good compromise though.