Sea of Thieves: One of the coolest moments of Microsoft’s brilliant performance at E3 2021 was the trailer for Sea of Thieves featuring Jack Sparrow and Davy Jones. Pirates of the Caribbean themed content came to the game on June 22 with the release of Sea of Thieves: A Pirate’s Life, a DLC packed with attractions for fans of both brands.
At the invitation of his national staff, we had the opportunity to speak exclusively with Jon Neate, the game’s Executive Producer, and Shelley Preston, its Lead Designer, about what gamers can expect from the new content and the future of the franchise. Check out our chat below!
You guys had quite an E3, huh? For those who missed the performance, what are you guys bringing to Sea of Thieves right now?
Shelley Preston: “The wonderful news for us is that we have this great collaboration with Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean! They will come to our game in the form of five new Big Fudges. There, players can venture alongside Jack Sparrow and be Black Pearl Crew Members Not only has Jack arrived in our universe, but Davy Jones too, so you’ll venture alongside Jack to save the world of Sea of Thieves from Davy Jones and his dark plans!
You’ll feel like a very relevant part of the action, almost like a new Pirates of the Caribbean movie. The way these wonderful characters came to our game is really cool, as we have our own well-established universe colliding with them. It’s pretty ambitious and cinematic, and we can’t wait until people get their hands on it!”
Assuming our readers are installing Sea of Thieves for the first time with the hype of your E3 2021 ad, how much do you need to grind or grind to access the new content?
Shelley Preston: “The Pirate’s Life is five Big Fudges and you access them from a new character that has arrived in this update. It appears in every Outpost in the game in its own camp, but you can also open the content from the menu start from a new button we put there. That will make you jump right into the action once you’ve finished the First Trip Tutorial.”
How was the process of getting the details of this collaboration with Disney right, as it has a reputation for being overprotective of its brands?
Jon Neate: “A couple of years ago at E3, the last face-to-face fair we had, we ended up meeting Disney as they approached us for an appointment there. They knew Sea of Thieves was a great game and they understood our tone and humor, noticing the potential of the idea. So they were like, ‘Look, if we tried to make a Pirates of the Caribbean game ourselves, it would basically be the game you guys already have, so how about we get together? Because we have this amazing world and we wanted to work with you’.
So basically they passed the ball to us and encouraged us to look for a story that we could tell that would fit with the game. At Rare we have so many Disney and Pirates of the Caribbean fans that it was easy to discuss with the team and exchange ideas that might or might not work. So, in August 2019, we called Disney to visit Rare and show them how work was going, and they loved seeing the characters in our visual style!
As everything went well, in January 2020 we showed our vision for the final content, eager to see their reaction to our story, with everyone in the office super nervous, but they were great partners and our visions lined up with time everything, so it was just a matter of getting the business model and the fine print of the law right, which made us even more confident.
The focus on authenticity has always been on both sides’ radar. It wasn’t enough to just throw the two universes together anyway, it was necessary to follow the internal logic of the two franchises. And as a history fan, it’s amazing to be able to explore the cities and areas we made, enjoy their sound effects, the care for details and everything else, have fidelity in every corner of the project, that was something very special!”
Now that the world of Sea of Thieves is expanding and embracing that great pop culture brand that is Pirates of the Caribbean, has the team thought about doing other collaborations? Because there’s no shortage of great pirate works, from The Secret of Monkey Island to One Piece manga and anime…
Jon Neate: “We didn’t rule out anything out of hand, we just cared about authenticity above all. I think these negotiations would always boil down to the kind of conversation we had with Disney, which was really cool. After that it would be a process of ‘ how would we do it, and why should we do it? How would this evolve the world of Sea of Thieves?’
The thing is, Pirates of the Caribbean has always been a natural fit, and the tone of the movies was something we used as an example in our early planning drafts for the game! In addition to that pirate lifestyle idea, we also thought a lot about The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, because in this game it was all about getting on a boat, setting sail, and then sailing to whatever corner of the world you wanted. This was very special!
We also thought of the Goonies movie to replicate that captivating sense of magic and sense of humor. These pirate adventures have always been in our hearts inspiring us! For anything we do in the future, we always have to think about how much sense it would make within this proposal. A new collaboration would have to be something both our fans and the brand we collaborate with would love. Pirates of the Caribbean was this clear situation where everyone won.”
By the way, for those who are hardcore fans of Sea of Thieves or Pirates of the Caribbean, are A Pirate’s Life events canonical?
Jon Neate: “As for the canon, this new content is basically us wondering what would happen if the Disney characters made it to the world of Sea of Thieves, so that’s the story we’re telling. Because our game takes place in a mythical place. , but that can be discovered by adventurers, so the idea is that other worlds can hear about it, and then go looking for it. It’s not something that happens in the world of Pirates of the Caribbean, but in our universe.
Still, when characters come into our world, they naturally need to behave and interact with things the same way you’ve seen them in the movies. Longtime Sea of Thieves fans will be pleased to see that the figures you’d think could team up with Jack Sparrow will be there with him, while just as many will be with Davy Jones due to his established motivations. In the process, we’ve advanced the lore of our own game, and I find that fascinating.”
What did you think of this collaboration and the ideas of the people at Rare? Did you enjoy the game and this interview? Let us know in the comments below!