Improving Our Release Process
We're making some adjustments to the way we deliver updates!
Ahoy pirates! We've now sailed past the six-month anniversary of Sea of Thieves' launch and things are as busy as ever. Today we're adding Cargo Runs to the Forsaken Shores update and giving players a new kind of voyage to undertake. You can learn much more about Cargo Runs here.
Since our launch back in March we've been taking time to assess how well our content delivery process has been working, as we're always looking for ways to improve what we're doing. It's been awesome to have added so much to the game in six months. That being said, the process and the pace we've been moving at has led to more bugs being introduced into the game than we'd like. We've heard that feedback from the community too, so we've looked at how we can do better.
We all agree that we need to find a balance between delivering great content and having enough time to rigorously test that content before it releases. Along with our internal testing processes, making use of our Pioneers to gather feedback and identify bugs is a key part of the process for us. We tested Forsaken Shores with our Pioneers before releasing to everyone else and it helped us immensely in finding issues, ironing out bugs and gaining confidence that what we'd built was going to surprise and delight players in the ways we hoped.
As I've discussed in today's Developer Update video, we're going to be making a shift in the way we bring new content to you so that we can continue to deliver stable updates. We're now going to take an approach that focuses us on updates with maximum player value, rather than the weekly rhythm we've been following since launch. We've put a lot of thought into this, and after considering player feedback, data and our own processes, we agreed that not all of the weekly updates between our larger releases had enough player value for us to justify taking the game offline and interrupting play.
So as we move forward we'll be focusing on releases that really deliver: our major content updates, Bilge Rat Adventures, major bug fixes and quality of life improvements. This means we won't be taking the game down each week as we have done until now. Rest assured though that this doesn't mean we'll leave any game-breaking issues in there – anything that disrupts the way you play will be fixed. This can either be done without taking the game down or by issuing a game update. It will depend on the issue, and we'll clearly communicate our plans around this so you're all kept updated and informed.
We'll be using our Pioneers to test content extensively between game updates and we're committed to this strategy. We are, however, working on improvements to the Pioneer Programme to make it easier to become a Pioneer and to offer rewards for taking part. We'll have more to share on that when we're closer to making those changes.
Our next update will be the Festival of the Damned Bilge Rat Adventure, so after today's release we don't plan to update the game again until that begins. We'll be testing this new content with Pioneers soon. We did reveal some details of this upcoming adventure at our recent New York Comic Con panel and you'll be able to see that when we have the video ready to post, hopefully next week. The Festival of the Damned will be an in-game festival celebrating the Ferryman, that mysterious Captain of the Ferry of the Damned who allows pirates to return to the land of the living.
We've thought long and hard about making this change to our release process, gathering and reviewing player feedback to figure out the best way to achieve our goals whilst giving players the best possible experience. We're confident that this new approach is the right one to bring you new content regularly, for us to review and implement feedback and keep the game stable and bug-free.
I'll be discussing future content in an upcoming Developer Update video. We have some incredibly exciting stuff coming this year and next year and we're looking forward to sharing that with you soon. Thank you so much for all the support so far on Sea of Thieves' journey. It's been incredible and, in many ways, we're still just getting started!