Microsoft’s new big Xbox game is out, and it is going through some launch pains — and is seeing fleets of sailors. Sea of Thieves debuted March 20 for Xbox One and Windows 10, and it has had more than 1 million unique players since it went live, according to developer Rare.
Throughout the first 48 hours of the games release, players have encountered multiple instances where they were not able to log in due to overwhelmed servers. Rare is trying to stay on top of the issue, and it published a video today to update fans about the state of Sea of Thieves.
“We’re very conscious that as we have players coming in, we are seeing issues for some people,” Sea of Thieves executive producer Joe Neate said.
Neate and Rare Studio head Craig Duncan explained that after their server beta tests prior to launch, the studio was prepared for peak hours to come in the early afternoon/evening for the United States. But the company said that those tests did not prepare it for the number of people hopping on to play.
“At one point, our service engineer told me we had 5,000 people coming in per minute,” said Duncan. “That’s just massive compared to what we prepared for.”
Sea of Thieves is the first Microsoft Game Studios release to launch day-and-date as part of the company’s Game Pass subscription service. Game Pass is a $10-per-month Netflix-style membership program that gets Xbox owners access to an instant library of games.
That means for $10, people are potentially signing up and trying out Sea of Thieves when they may not have done so if it was only available as a $60 purchase. That could explain the massive numbers, but it’s also a good problem for Microsoft to have because it means that Game Pass is working.