Hi all, firstly, thanks to everyone who turned up to play during the Sea of Thieves Closed Beta. We learned an invaluable amount of information, which has fed back into the game’s development. We wanted to give an update on our plans leading to launch.

Closed Beta learnings

One of our key goals was learning about what would happen when we hit a high number of players. We wanted to find out if there were any bottlenecks and if any of our messaging services had challenges processing the amount of data.

The response to the Closed Beta was humbling, where we saw increasing numbers of players every single day and saw more players log in than we’ve ever seen before.

Due to the amount of people who turned up to play, we learned so much about our services and capabilities. Some of these we could address on the fly, some of them we could attribute to plans we already had to do before launch, and some identified completely new areas to work on, so these have been added to our list to address for launch. If there were times where you couldn’t start the game, or sell items at outposts, this was where the biggest bottleneck of data was seen, and it’s where our areas of focus are now.

Third Scale Test *

After last week’s Scale Test, our Services Team have done even more work to help manage the traffic of player counts when playing the game.

We are now running a third Scale Test, beginning on Friday March 2nd at 10am GMT (2am PST) and ending on Sunday March 4th at 10am GMT (2am PST).

The goal of this is to test the latest services work we have done, and try and hit the highest number of concurrent players yet!

What to expect

With this added scale we expect – and plan – to see issues, that we can learn from and address. Not only are we looking to hit scale, we will also purposefully be stressing our services by throttling performance at certain times, testing the game in different data centres around the world, and simulating deliberate outages.

Some examples of the issues we expect to see are:

· Sessions being interrupted

· An inability to join the game at certain times during the weekend

· Issues when using shops in-game

Official Sea of Thieves Developer Update: Scale Test

Duration 3:44

Play Video

Who can take part in the Scale Test?

The Scale Test is open to Xbox Insiders and those who had access to the Closed Beta. If you are an Xbox Insider and want to take part, you can navigate to the Insider Hub on your dash, and install the Sea of Thieves Scale Test build.

Having issues installing? Check out this guide.

What features are in this?

This will purposefully be a similar feature set to the Closed Beta, again restricted to the Gold Hoarders trading company and accompanying Voyages. The purpose of this test is to drive scale and test issues at a high scale of player concurrency. We will not be seeking feedback on the game experience itself.

Will there be another Beta?

We do plan on running another Beta closer to the launch of the game, where players will get a taste of the wider Sea of Thieves experience, but for now our focus is on our Scale Testing plans. We will have more to share on that as we get closer to launch.

Thanks to everyone who took part in the Closed Beta, and for your continued help as we head towards launch!

Cheers,

Joe

* This article has been updated since its initial publication to reflect the new Scale Test dates. While the video still discusses the dates of an earlier Scale Test, all other information is current.