Digging Deep into Season Five!

Unearthing a stash of insights into Sea of Thieves’ latest Season…

Season Five is here, and we hope you’re all enjoying lighting up the skies, burying treasure and causing all sorts of mayhem with the Cannon Rowboat! The updates in this Season are intended to broaden the pirate toolkit, giving you new, fun ways to live out your pirate life, as well as some quality of life improvements to make sailing the seas that bit smoother.

Something we’ve started doing to add more context and build anticipation for the new additions is to film and release a Deep Dive video just prior to the release of each new Season. We did it for Season Four and we’ve done it again for Season Five, chatting to engineers, designers, musicians and artists to get their insights into all the new features. From the reflections of fireworks on the sea to pirates’ mouths moving as they speak, there’s some great behind-the-scenes info in this latest Deep Dive, if you’re hungering to know more about how Sea of Thieves’ features come together. If you haven’t already, check it out below!

Digging Up Buried Treasures: Official Sea of Thieves Season Five Deep Dive

Duration 17:56

“Season Five is about enriching our Sea of Thieves sandbox, providing another injection of incredible opportunities and creative tools for our players to use as part of their adventures,” said Senior Designer and Deep Dive participant George Orton when we pinned him down earlier this afternoon and demanded quotes for this article. “Watching players enjoy the update and share their experiences over the last week has been the perfect way to end a massive year for the game. Every story, screenshot and video that’s cropped up on social media has delighted the team – we’ve loved pinging them around in messages to each other and sharing the ways our players are constantly surprising us!”

But what are the Sea of Thieves Design team really enjoying about the response to Season Five, George? “When a release approaches, excitement always builds as we anticipate what players will make of it. The difference with Season Five is that we’ve been enjoying players’ actions as well as reactions. In previous updates (especially with the story-based nature of something like the Sea of Thieves: A Pirate’s Life Tall Tales), we’ve known what’s coming and have been excited to see how players react to it when they get there.

“This time it’s almost the complete opposite! We’ve thrown numerous new tools into the world and been blown away by all the creative uses players have found for them. Personally, seeing crews come together to combine sitting, fireworks, Cannon Rowboats, burying and all the other new toys has produced some of my all-time favourite Sea of Thieves stories.”

But where did the ideas for this colourful selection of new mechanics originate? “Features like sleeping, whispering and having rats scurrying around on ships were all taken from the early prototypes of the game,” explains George. “‘We had that in the prototype’ has been a commonly heard phrase around the halls and meeting rooms at Rare for quite a while, so it’s been great finally blowing the cobwebs off a few more of these ideas!

“Other tools, like burying treasure, Cannon Rowboats and fireworks, have been scrawled on Post-it notes by various team members for a while. One of the beautiful things about the physicality and playfulness of Sea of Thieves is how easy it is to think ‘what if we tried this…’ and how often those ideas turn into something genuinely brilliant. Seeing ideas come in from across the team, be realised as full-fledged features and then delight players as we’ve seen in the last few weeks has been incredibly exciting!

“The great thing about being on this team, building things for the type of players we have, is that those ideas never stop coming. We’re not done yet!”

Thanks George! If you want the blow-by-blow breakdown of everything added and adjusted in Season Five, our release notes should hold all the answers you seek. With the Festival of Giving Event underway as we speak and Grogmanay kicking off later this month, you’ll definitely want to keep your spyglasses glued to the horizon for all sorts of festive fun. For all the breaking pirate news as it happens, you’ll want to be following the Sea of Thieves social channels: that’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitch, TikTok and the official Forums and Discord server. Until next time, pirates!