In a sea of microtransactions (see what we did there?), it's no wonder that the word itself garners a negative reaction from gamers. Though the world of loot crates is nothing new, the idea that players would be forced to buy relatively is. When news broke that the highly anticipated shared-world adventure Sea of Thieves would be including microtransactions in one of their earlier post-launch updates, the subsequent eye roll was immediate. Fortunately, they won't be like you're thinking.
Rare's exeuctive producer Joe Neate sat down with IGN recently to discuss the first major update for the game when it releases. Though there will be a few patches here and there, this update is expected to be huge and will arrive somewhere after about three months of shelf time. When he brought up mictrotransactions, he was quick to assure fans it won't be what they fear, anything in this area will not impact power or progression," Neate clarified. "And you'll always know what you're getting - so that means no loot crates."
Giving EA's pay-to-win approach and many areas around the world trying to decide if the practice of loot crates should be considered gambling or not, it's understandable that Neate would want to make clear the developers' intent going forward. The entire controversy surrounding Star Wars Battlefront II loot crate system was a huge reason why the title didn't perform as well as it should have, despite including an amazing single-player campaign as promised.
No, Sea of Thieves won't be diving into that territory. The purchasable options will "either be on a shoulder, like a monkey, or like a cat on the ship." In other words, completely cosmetic. We don't fault a company for wanting to capitalize on a title's success - businesses are there to make money after all - and if the inclusion of microtransactions should be included, it should be limited to a cosmetic-only basis. Luckily, Rare seems to agree and it looks like it will just be an additional way players can customize their pirating experience.
Sea of Thieves will be arriving on March 20th of this year on Xbox One and PC.