There's no doubt that Sea of Thieves was generally considered to be one of the most exciting Xbox One exclusives of 2018 before it launched earlier this year, with many fans eagerly anticipating their ability to don the garb of a salty seafarer and live the life of a cartoony pirate. This fantasy distilled in the action-adventure title from Rare managed to be quite successful, as Microsoft has now gone so far as to say that the game has surpassed its sales expectations.
This much was confirmed by the Executive President of Gaming at Microsoft, Phil Spencer, who told Giant Bomb that Sea of Thieves sold "significantly more" than the company projected that it would. Spencer's statement was also echoed by Rare producer Joe Neate, who spoke to US Gamer, saying, "We had a target to hit by the end of June, which we hit in day one of sales."
For those unaware, Sea of Thieves became available for free on launch day for members of Microsoft's game streaming subscription service known as Xbox Game Pass, which led many to believe that the title's sales would suffer from such a business model coming to pass. Nevertheless, it seems as if its inclusion in the membership service actually could've helped boost sales of the action-adventure game. As it so happens, Neate told US Gamer that he believes Game Pass and Mixer contributed to the success of the multiplayer-driven game.
Taking all of this into account, while Sea of Thieves' unexpected sales boom for the title is a boon for Microsoft and Rare, it would've been odd to have seen the game go on to be described as an outright financial failure. After all, Microsoft already announced several months ago that Sea of Thieves was "the fastest-selling first-party new IP for Xbox One" shortly after it launched, so it was expected by many to stay the course in that respect.
Sea of Thieves is available now for PC and Xbox One.