The Fun & Serious Games Festival is the largest video game festival in Europe, attracting huge numbers of fans and industry professionals to scenic Bilbao in northern Spain. Rare’s own Joe Neate, Executive Producer on Sea of Thieves, made an appearance at the festival to talk about his experiences in creating Sea of Thieves whilst accepting the award for Best Family/Social Game, a significant victory and high honour for Rare.

Joe's Acceptance Speech (35:10)

Joe accepting the award for Best Family/Social Game at the Fun and Serious Games Festival

“I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the Fun & Serious Games Festival in Bilbao and gave a talk on the topic of ‘creating a new type of multiplayer game’ summarising our vision and the journey we’ve been on so far, and there were quite a number of Sea of Thieves players in attendance which was great to see,” said Joe. “It was fun to talk about our vision, the journey we’ve been on so far, and how we wanted to bring the game to players in a new way and how important that has been in creating a great community.

Aside from the opportunity to meet members of the Sea of Thieves community, it was also amazing to get the opportunity to meet some games industry legends who had also been invited to the festival. Brenda Romero, Jade Raymond and Fumita Ueda (amongst others, who were also amazing) were all in attendance to give a talk and receive a special award for their contributions to the industry. They were humble, lovely and inspiring. I felt honoured to spend time with them, to be able to share stories and development anecdotes, and just enjoy together the city of Bilbao and the wonderful experience our hosts had laid on for us.

At the end of the festival, the Titanium Awards were held in the Guggenheim museum, which is a pretty amazing location. It was a pretty high-profile awards ceremony, with a mixture of awards for Spanish games in recognition of the Spanish games industry, but also a range of international awards. The awards were presented by a mixture of actors, comedians and festival officials, and we were fortunate enough to win the award for Best Family / Social Game.

For me this award is particularly special, because it is recognition of the fact that we have created a completely new type of multiplayer game that appeals to a broader range of players, as we’ve seen with so many stories of families playing together. We took risks because we believed in doing something new and different, which we’ll continue to do as a studio, and it’s great to see people recognising the impact this is having out in the world.

Congratulations to everyone at the studio for this, and everyone in our community who plays Sea of Thieves in the spirit we always intended. It was an honour to be present and collect the award on behalf of everyone who loves this game.

Finally, thank you to everyone that organised the festival and made the trip such an incredible one. Everyone involved was wonderful and made it one of the most memorable trips of the year. I’m really looking forward to following the Fun & Serious Games Festival as it continues to grow in stature and influence.”

Clearly the experience had a great impact on Joe and it has been a welcome boon to employees throughout Rare, too – we always enjoy recognition and praise for our hard work! As Joe said himself during his acceptance speech for the award, both players and developers are equally important in the creation of a title like Sea of Thieves. They both breathe life into the game in their own ways and so the award for Best Family / Social Game was a wonderful victory for Rare. We’re proud of our work and grateful to the community for embracing Sea of Thieves in such a variety of weird and wonderful ways.

Look at that smile! LOOK AT IT!

The award seemed to go down particularly well with our very own Captain Kato, who thinks that as well as being a great milestone in Sea of Thieves history, it also smells kinda cool and looks shiny. You can see his happy face right here.

Please check out the Fun & Serious Game Festival site to see what other awards were given out this year, as there have been some astonishing releases throughout the industry that truly deserve recognition. Rare would like to thank our fans, community and Fun & Serious one more time for this accolade and we hope that you will all join us on the seas over the festive season. Don’t forget that every player can grab one Gilded Voyage in-game between now and the first week of January to enjoy a very lucrative set of quests!