Sea of Thieves at X018
Joe looks back on our live panel and debut trailer for Sea of Thieves: The Arena!
It was an absolute privilege for myself and Rare's Studio Head Craig to travel to Mexico City this month and represent Sea of Thieves at X018. It was very much a flying visit, with us arriving on Friday evening and flying out on Sunday. For both of us it was a first visit to Mexico, and what a first trip it was. From our driver who offered us tequila from his glove compartment upon arrival at the airport – which turned out to be a joke, disappointingly – through to the amazing fans we met throughout our time at the event, it was a weekend full of smiles, stories and laughter.
X018 began on Saturday morning, with us arriving worryingly early for make-up (how much did we need?!) and then being left to wander around waiting for our call time for the Inside Xbox live stream. The setup was fantastic, and it wasn't long before I saw some Sea of Thieves fans dressed as pirates queueing to get in.
I went over and had a chat, and once again the first thing our fans wanted to do was share their favourite stories. I love that everyone has their own memories and their own unique adventures, and they're so keen to tell you!
Once we received the call to head across to the Inside Xbox stage for our appearance it became clear that the atmosphere was something else. The noise, energy and excitement was incredible, and it was hard enough to hear yourselves talk away from the stage. This proved to be somewhat of an issue as we were being prepped, with one of those things that inevitably happens during live broadcast – a microphone and earpiece malfunction – leading to Craig and I being handed alternative handheld mics and sent on stage about 10 seconds prior to our trailer ending and the interview starting.
The lack of a functioning earpiece meant Craig and I had to use a combination of lip-reading skills and trying to remember the order of topics, hoping we were answering the question that was actually being asked! It was quite the experience, especially when Julia decided to freestyle and ask some off-the-cuff questions just to spice things up. Honestly, it was an amazing experience with the atmosphere in the room being incomparable to anything I've witnessed before and I just hope that was apparent for people watching at home.
After Inside Xbox had wrapped, it was time for a dinner with the local Xbox Mexico team that had organised the event, alongside the Xbox leadership team who had travelled down. It was great to meet the people responsible for organising such an amazing show, who then treated us to a fantastic traditional dinner including some surprisingly moreish grasshoppers alongside some unsurprisingly moreish margaritas. Then it was time to get some sleep ready for our panel the next morning! So I went to the hotel bar and stayed there until it closed with some of the Gears team.
Sunday was an early start to head back to the show for our live extended panel hosted by official Friend of Rare Larry Hryb. We enjoyed digging into some more details of what we've been up to so far, The Arena and a bunch of questions that had surfaced overnight, as well as teasing a little about our next update Shrouded Spoils. Again the atmosphere here was terrific and it was great to be able to take questions from some of our Mexican fans, a number of whom had travelled a fair way to be there for the weekend!
Once we were done with the panel, and a mildly overwhelming amount of photos with local fans, Craig and I had a few hours in the afternoon to explore the city before heading back to the airport. It was great to get a glimpse of the real city outside of the event, with a walk through some local parks and shopping districts giving us a real taste of the city before we regretfully had to make our way to the airport and back to reality.
It was in an incredible trip, with the local fans making the experience like nothing else, and it was an absolute pleasure to represent the team's work out in Mexico. Hopefully next time I'll get to stay a little longer and have the opportunity to see more of what was clearly a wonderful country!
Thanks to everyone for your continued support, and everyone involved in such an amazing show. We'll see you on the seas!