Sea of Thieves Round-Up: January 2021

Seasons to be cheerful, part one - enjoy our monthly news round-up!

It's 2021! Oh right, we did that last time. But we've dropped our first big content update of the year since then, so now it's really 2021 in Sea of Thieves terms. The wind is rising. The wheels are turning. The ball is rolling. Cannonball. It's a cannonball and it's rolling down the deck, the metaphor is fine. Anyway. JANUARY!

Content Update

Steaming in with the new year, Seasons are the latest Sea of Thieves development because in spite of some soap-averse pirate crews who would have you believe otherwise, it's important to keep things fresh. The three months of Season One kicked off with the addition of Lost Shipment Voyages for the Merchant Alliance, offering plenty to do while your Renown ticked up nicely and Seasonal progression rewards tumbled in naturally. Full details, as always, in the release notes.

Prior to that, the Festival of Giving update was winding down with a last call for the 12 Deeds of Giving and Grogmanay Events. Season One tows in a raft of new Events too, with the first one wielding its double plural like a deadly weapon as we speak...

Meanwhile, the savvy proprietors of the Pirate Emporium lined their shelves with timely Lunar Festival gear, letting you kit out not only yourself but your ship, your weapons and your pets in Eastern-inspired scarlet and gold. Those of a darker disposition heading into the new year might prefer to adopt an Order of Souls Possessed Pet, while the Plunder Pass can be picked up any time during the Season by pirates who prioritise Renown – layering hand-picked Emporium goods (some debuting here, like the Dark Warsmith weapons) onto the Seasonal rewards already available.

Sea of Thieves Season One: Official Content Update Trailer

Duration 2:44

News and Features

There was plenty of momentum throughout January, building towards that final week's burst of Sea of Thieves activity. Ahead of the Season One launch with its traditional Xbox Wire post on the 28th, we laid the groundwork with a couple of explanatory articles: Seasons Explained, which explained Seasons, and Plunder Pass Explained, which explained the Plunder Pass. Hope that clears up the thinking behind them. Well worth a read whether you're a regular or lapsed player, as the Seasonal progression system adds bags of nuance (and free stuff) to day-to-day gameplay.

Also setting the scene for some changes was EP Joe's Forum post about Arena comms adjustments. But January's other news was a little more musical in nature, in a month where sea shanties blew up like a crow's nest keg stash in a storm: 'Shanty Selects Vol. 2' was our newest official soundtrack release, while the timeless 'We Shall Sail Together' went cruising past three million Spotify streams. "Who knew what was supposed to be a placeholder would get so many streams?" said singer Anna when we asked her for comment just now. And on that bombshell...

Videos and Streams

Other types of streams! January's two big videos we've already mentioned, the Seasons Explained video followed by the full Season One trailer two days later. But there were a couple of Weekly Streams to carry you along too: alternating hosts Jon and Jordan teamed up on the 12th for the first stream of the year, featuring guest HappyKrakenX and Jon definitely not getting Fs in the chat for buying the wrong Gilded Voyage. Then it was a couple of weeks before streaming resumed with January's second guest, FPS convert ZachNCheese, where two Bonechillers went to sea in search of mischief for (naturally) The Reaper's Bones.

Even when we're not streaming, there's rarely a shortage of other Sea of Thieves Partners to follow – especially as our Twitch Drops kicked it up a gear recently, with January stretching from Frozen Horizon to Gilded Phoenix, the final Drops of the Festival of Giving to the first Drops of Season One.

Seasons Explained: Official Sea of Thieves Gameplay Guide

Duration 3:51

Social Channels

From New Year's Day to a final outpouring of #SundayVibes on the 31st, it was another non-stop month on channels. As soon as we got back to work we were celebrating new Pirate Legends, poring over #SoTShot entries (check out the winners of our Celebration and Album Cover themes) and opening our anachronistic microwave to heat up some more #TriviaTuesday fact nuggets (latest ones concerning ghosts, Chests of Rage, the Wailing Barnacle and the Bilge Rats).

There was more sea shanty action in this neck of the woods, as we sorted out a Spotify playlist to tickle the fancy of curious new genre fans, complete with lyrics for accompaniment in the privacy of your own home/on a livestream/on public transport. Of course we were keeping players up to date on the game too – in fact as we rumbled towards the action-packed last days of the month, there was a little social-exclusive letter tease from Senior Trader Mollie on the subject of Lost Shipments. A new channel even sprang up to support our shenanigans as Sea of Thieves fled the Rare account to establish its own 'Insta' 'presence', just in time to make some noise about the Season One release date.

That's as good a place as any to wrap up by reminding you of where to find us for more frequent updates: follow Sea of Thieves on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, enjoy rolling seascapes and the rolling consonants of trailer narrator John on YouTube, see us streaming and snap up Drops on Twitch, then post your observations, speculations, fan creations and grog hallucinations on our official Forums or Discord server. And all without violating any lockdown rules! Save your criminal energy for stabbing other pirates and running off with their stuff.