Last week, Rare announced that Sea of Thieves console players will soon have the option for opting out of crossplay between Xbox and PC. The announcement has since divided the community, with many claiming that it will do more harm than good in splitting the playerbase.
Initially announced by Executive Producer Joe Neate during a Weekly Dev Update video, the update will launch ahead of the new PvP mode, The Arena, and contain an ‘opt-out’ for Xbox owners to disable crossplay. It’s worth noting that crossplay will still be enabled by default, and needs to be manually disabled in the game’s settings.
“We’ve heard a lot of feedback about this, we’ve talked about it a lot, and we definitely believe this is the right approach for Sea of Thieves, especially with that competitive mode coming on the horizon,” said Neate, reaffirming Rare’s stance on the issue.
“I understand this has been a hot topic in our community for a little while, and I really wanted to get out there and address it now, and we strongly believe the approach we’re taking is the right one for players across the board.”
This announcement has since divided the community, with some posit that the move will only serve to split the player-base, while others suggest that the move is a breath of fresh air for console players that can’t compete with their PC counterparts.
Seeking to address the main concerns, Studio Head Craig Duncan clarified a few key questions that arose within the community, including platform preference, player count, and population.
“Rest assured our goals are always to do the right thing by our players and community – whether you are a brand-new player or someone that has been with us from the start, we prioritise all players and all platforms together,” he said on Twitter.
Speaking to player count and population:
“Servers will still have the same density they do today as we spin up Azure servers as players join & backfill new crews into live servers,” he said. “Our server density is architected to not be affected by the size of our player population, but to vary the player encounter frequency and stories.”
He finished by reassuring that Sea of Thieves’ population is healthy on both Xbox One and PC:
“Our player population is super healthy on both PC and Xbox & has been since launch. While we don’t tweet usage data reactively, we will figure out how we share more stats on this soon to give context why players don’t need to worry about our live player or populations.”
We expect to hear more information as Rare works on reassuring the community, but for now it’ll be interesting to see how the community reacts when the update launches – at the very least, crossplay will still be enabled by default and will need to be manually disabled on an individual basis.
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