It was anything but smooth sailing for yesterday’s global launch of Sea of Thieves, as the game’s servers struggled to keep up with a massive influx of new pirates. Players were plagued by problems connecting to the game, random disconnects, matchmaking errors and more. At one point, developers had to temporarily suspend new players joining the game.
Sea of Thieves began rolling out early Monday morning in New Zealand, adding new regions throughout the day until reaching North America early Tuesday morning. Shortly following the North American launch, the official Sea of Thieves Twitter account posted its first message about managing the server load.
So things were already looking bad early on Tuesday morning, as North American players who’d purchased the game ahead of release and pre-loaded it on their PC or Xbox One started coming aboard.
I personally had no issues getting into the game on Tuesday from around 7AM Eastern to 4PM, but as school and work began to let out, I started experiencing CinnamonBeard errors, indicating a problem connecting to the game.
Connection problems were no doubt exacerbated by an influx of players who’d acquired the game through the Xbox Game Pass. Sea of Thieves is the first Microsoft-published game offered for free with the subscription service. Players receiving the game through the Xbox Game Pass were unable to download it until it officially launched, so many of them were unable to play until Tuesday evening. And many of them were unable to play even then.
Developer Rare and Microsoft are currently working on updates to “ensure the playing experience will be optimal,” so I’m hopeful the seas will calm in the coming days. Until then, I recommend either calling in sick for school or work or getting a job that involves playing Sea of Thieves during the work day.
Look for more coverage of Sea of Thieves, including a full review, as I continue to play the game during my work day.