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Microsoft launched the closed beta for its online pirate game Sea of Thieves yesterday on Xbox One and Windows 10, but you may have struggled to commit any piracy due to a number of server errors that prevented people from getting online. Now, in response to those issues, developer Rare is extending its pre-release trial period. If you have access to the closed beta, you can now play it for two additional days. The test now runs through January 31 at midnight Pacific time.

“We know that a number of you are still unable to get into the game to play,” Rare engagement boss Emma Bridle wrote in a blog post. “Our community and customer support teams are working hard to keep you all updated with information as we get it, but we’re also taking what you’re telling us back to the other teams here at Rare.”

The studio acknowledged that players are experiencing a variety of errors, including one where people who preordered Sea of Thieves are getting a “too early” message on the Xbox and Windows 10 stores. Rare says it is in the process of getting these errors fixed.


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“We know your gaming hours are precious and our number one goal is to get everyone with closed-beta access into the game as soon as possible,” wrote Bridle.

Now, typically, people would just have to accept that a closed beta may come with bugs. This is, after all, a way to test the game to see if it is ready for launch. It’s better to isolate and eliminate these issues now rather than at launch. But Microsoft essentially sold access to the beta by giving it to anyone who preorders Sea of Thieves. That means these are paying customers, and Microsoft and Rare cannot ignore them.

But I’m happy to get two more days of Sea of Thieves. I’ve spent some time with it, and I’m interested to see what the progression and variety is like over time. My concerns with Sea of Thieves are that it is a repetitive loop where you get a mission, get the treasure, turn it in, and then repeat. More time with this test may reveal how Rare plans to mix up that process.

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