After players rushed to Sea of Thieves at the promise of gaming treasures, some have been left disappointed that the waters don't run that deep - and apparently the game's issues were apparent even during the making of the game. The game made a huge impression pre-release, with hands-on events with the game promising an incredibly fun pirate-based experience.
This excitement carried through some additional beta runs, but after Sea of Thieves saw full release this sheen did not carry very far at all. Unfortunately, many players have already grown a little weary of the game's repetition, with a critical reception that has been quick to point out that Sea of Thieves has a problem with variety, both in terms of gameplay and in terms of enemy types. That's without going into some of the launch connectivity issues that have plagued the game.
As it turns out, developer Rare was apparently well aware of the lack of depth in the gameplay of Sea of Thieves during the development process. The allegations come from former Sea of Thieves artist Rob Beddall, who took to Reddit to address some of the concerns that players have over the game and share some context of how it felt during development. Beddall, who worked on the game for over two years, stated that "a lot of internal people voiced their concerns that the game was repetitive and shallow."
Beddall, whose work on Sea of Thieves can be seen on his portfolio page, went on to explain a little more of Rare's thinking during development, suggesting that "the plans and ideas for the game were bigger than what was released," but that the core gameplay loop of the title never really shifted. Whereas Beddall himself was hoping for more by way of "dungeons and raids," instead he shares the genuine concerns of players over the lack of variety found in the full release of the game. His experience of working on Sea of Thieves was one where Rare was "really anal about every detail of the game" when more focus could have been put into the gameplay itself. "I have never worked on a game that was developed so slowly," he said.
Beddall's comments certainly match up with how some players are feeling about Sea of Thieves. Although the game is an enjoyable one, there is a sense of frustration that the gameplay on offer doesn't give as much variety that would be hoped from such a highly anticipated release. As such, it's easy to see why some users feel as though Sea of Thieves has not progressed enough from testing to really be considered a full launch right now.
Of course, there's plenty of time for Rare to turn it around, and the most difficult part of building Sea of Thieves is already in place; although shallow, at the very least the game is fun. However, Rare may need to act swiftly to add more by way of content to the game, before those players turn to other releases that offer more. If Beddall's comments are correct, though, and Rare's own team knew about concerns over the shallow nature of the gameplay, it could be that a major shift in philosophy is required.