Sea of Thieves, the pirate game developed by Rare, is getting a new player versus player mode called The Arena in 2019. Announced during X018, the Xbox fan event being held in Mexico City, the mode was billed as a way for players to “test their pirating skills in fast-paced matches against rival crews.”
Rare is promising matches that are a “fun, frenetic and action-packed race to find treasure that brings together all the most exciting elements of Sea of Thieves.” On top of this, The Arena will also introduce a brand new-tavern area and a Trading Company called the “Sea Dogs.” This outfit will provide players with new goals to achieve, rewards to unlock, and fresh opportunities to build their pirate legend.
During the stream, developers Rare studio head Craig Duncan and executive producer Joe Neate came on stage to talk about The Arena. According to Neate, The Arena will be a distinct mode that is selected from a menu. The studio is currently testing it internally and will then give access to it to some of its community to refine. The launch date is currently set as “early 2019” and it will be a free update.
Sea of Thieves originally launched in March, 2018. In GameSpot’s Sea of Thieves review, Peter Brown said it was “a somewhat hollow game that can be fun for a handful of hours when played with friends, and something worth trying out if you happen to be an Xbox Game Pass subscriber.
“Even though it’s hard to wholeheartedly recommend, I like enough of what I see to hold out hope that things will eventually improve as the game continues to be patched and updated with new content,” he added.
The last major update for Sea of Thieves update introduced Cargo Runs, which could be completed to improve your standing with the Merchant Alliance. These missions asked players to find specific cargo in question, acquire it–using any means necessary–and then drop it off at a destination point. Performance is evaluated based on speed and how well the goods were handled, so it’s a matter of being fast but careful.
Rare has also launched Forsaken Shores, an expansion that opens up a volcanic region of the map that players can sail to and explore to complete challenges. Before that, there was the Hungering Deep and Cursed Sails add-on.