Microsoft has launched the first of three scheduled Sea of Thieves content updates set for this summer. Called The Hungering Deep, the free expansion is a mix of permanent and time-limited content. Most notable is the titular campaign that will have players trying to learn about the Megalodon shark, which might not be as extinct as humans thought.
Rare's Sea of Thieves was released earlier this year and received praise for its open-ended pirate gameplay that allows players to sail the seas and search for treasure. However, the praise came with a near unanimous caveat that there simply wasn't enough content to keep it engaging for a long period of time. The developer's answer to that issue is to add new content over time, and a steady stream of weekly patches have been released so far.
Beyond the limited-time campaign, The Hungering Deep also brings several permanent additions to the cooperative multiplayer game. This includes new communication tools in the form of a flag system and speaking trumpet that will allow for pirates to better plan their voyages. Other additions include new cosmetic items in the form of scars and tattoos, and a drum instrument that plays a key role in the aforementioned campaign.
This is a great starting point for Rare, and they seem truly dedicated to making Sea of Thieves the best game it can be. That said, it's only the beginning as more content will have to be added over time to make sure it stays a compelling experience. Thankfully, two more major updates are planned for later this summer called Cursed Sails and Forsaken Shores. If they both add in similar content and limited-time campaigns then players will have plenty of reasons to keep coming back to Microsoft's high seas adventure.
The Hungering Deep also marks the first major limited-time event for the game, which is a key component to any "game as a service" title. It will be interesting to see if Rare plans on allowing these events to resurface over time or not, as an entire campaign is a lot of work to include if it's only going to be available for two weeks. Seeing how the developer, and the fanbase for Sea of Thieves, respond to content that will be gone sooner rather than later will set the tone for future updates.
- Sea of Thieves (2018 Video Game) release date: Mar 20, 2018