After two years on Microsoft's janky Windows 10 Store, Sea Of Thieves is now officially headed to Steam. Rare last night announced that a Steam release for their multiplayer pirate sandbox is "coming soon", and yes Steamers will be able to play with pirates on the Microsoft Store as well as Xbox One. I know many grumbled about the gaping lack of things to do when Sea Of Thieves debuted in 2018 but Rare certainly have been busy, adding a whole lot of newness since then. It's a good time to get onboard.
Rare announced the Steam release last night and whammed up a Steam page. And yup, they do confirm that "cross play will allow Xbox One, Windows 10 and Steam users to adventure together when Sea of Thieves launches on Steam". They don't mention when exactly it'll launch but do say they plan to announce the Steam date "soon."
I started playing Sea Of Thieves in December and yeah, this has become a lovely game to hang out and lark about with my seapals. We tend to set sail with only a vague plan then see what happens along the way. A quest to off some skeletal captains might be waylaid when you stumble across some high-quality treasure, then you set out to deliver that to an NPC but spy a rival ship and have a tense long-distance stand-off which might boil over into a battle, then you finally seem back on track until you're attacked by a giant shark or kraken... good times. Individual elements can be a bit bland (see: most quests and NPC fights) but it's grand to spend several hours in the world, mixing up activities while chatting with pals, fishing, playing songs, and gawping at the beautiful water.
"There is a platform for wonderful things here, but if Rare don't build new things atop it PDQ, it will soon crumble forever," our former Alec (RPS in peace) wrote in his Sea Of Thieves review way back at the start. They have done right by it. For more contemporary japes, read what happened when Imogen, Nate, and Matt tangled with a kraken.
I do welcome a Steam release. While I am fine with using multiple stores, Microsoft's one is bad. Auto-downloading for updates is often broken, and it doesn't even tell you when the game you're launching needs an update. In the year of our Molyneux 2020, it is wild to launch a multiplayer live service game from a huge publisher, try to join a friend's game, and only then be told by an error message that you're missing an update that'll take ages to download. So hey, cool, Steam.
Sea Of Thieves on Microsoft's Store is covered by a subscription to the Xbox Game Pass For PC, mind, so that is one advantage over the Steam release. Surprisingly good service, that Game Pass.