Microsoft and Rare’s new pirate simulator Sea of Thieves may have struggled with us critics, but it’s a hit with gamers and Microsoft’s fastest-selling new IP with 2 million copies of the game in players hands already.
“The worldwide excitement for Sea of Thieves has made it the fastest-selling first-party new IP of this generation,” said Rare studio head Aaron Duncan in a statement. “Having witnessed more than a million players on launch day, our community continues to grow and now has more than two million players. Alongside this, Sea of Thieves is already the best-selling Microsoft Studios first party on Windows 10.”
Microsoft says that the 2 million sales number does not include people who played it via Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass. The fastest-selling badge, though, refers specifically to Microsoft IPs and to this generation. Games like Sunset Overdrive and Quantum Break are under that umbrella, while games like Forza and Gears of War are not.
Microsoft has struggled over the last few years to establish the Xbox One as a home for original, Microsoft-exclusive games. While Sony doles out games like Uncharted 4, Bloodborne, and Horizon Zero Dawn, Microsoft is looking at a few Forza games and exactly one each of fresh Halo and Gears titles. Games like the aforementioned Quantum Break and Sunset Overdrive stand out, but while they did well with critics they struggled to hit the big time sales-wise.
Meanwhile, games like Crackdown and Scalebound have seen heavy delays, and the latter even ended up getting canned. This year seems to be the time for Microsoft to make a push, and the first volley seems to be working. The zombie simulator State of Decay 2 hits mid-May, and Crackdown 3 is still set to hit in the first half of this year after years of delays.
I have my issues with Sea of Thieves, but this is good news for Rare, which hasn’t had an original non-Kinect game in almost a decade, and for Xbox gamers who are definitely craving a big new title to get excited about.