Microsoft's open-world pirate adventure Sea of Thieves didn't have the best critical reception on launch. However it managed to maintain a steady base of players on Xbox One and Windows 10 PC. This was due to the fact that Sea of Thieves was on Xbox Game Pass, the company's Netflix-like subscription service. Xbox One and Windows 10 PC gamers could avail of a two week trial to Xbox Game Pass and play Sea of Thieves, essentially giving them a taste of the high seas for free. And it seems that the Xbox Game Pass free trial was all they needed to decide if they should continue playing Sea of Thieves.
According to a report from analytics firm Superdata, Sea of Thieves lost half of its user base on expiry of the Xbox Game free trial. The game haemorrhaged close to one million users.
"Sea of Thieves has early success but with a caveat. Sea of Thieves had 1.7 million monthly active users on console and 283,000 on PC during its launch month. However – more than half of these users obtained the game through the limited free trial offered as part of Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass. This leaves some unanswered questions concerning the long-term success of the title," the firm said.
Despite some analysts talking up the advantages of Xbox Game Pass and it not impacting retail game purchases, it appears to have caused an early casualty in Sea of Thieves.
It doesn’t help matters that Sea of Thieves is a Rs. 3,999 game ($60 in the US). Sure you can get it for less if you’ve subscribed to Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass subscription service (Rs. 699 a month, Rs. 4,194 for six months) but even with what content the game has right now, there’s little reason to download it.
In our Sea of Thieves review we stated that it feels like a mock up house used by real estate agents to sell you on a property. It’s a polished prototype with promise and potential, but it’s so far removed from what the actuality is that you’re better off waiting. This might change if Microsoft and Rare decide to add more content to the, game but right now you shouldn’t bother.
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