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The closed beta for Rare’s Sea of Thieves last week had 332,053 players – a good sign for Microsoft.

It’s worth bearing in mind that while that may not sound gargantuan, it was a closed beta, relying on people pre-ordering the game to get a code.

For everyone else, the prospect of piratical multiplayer adventures will have to entice by word of mouth as time goes by.

The beta, which ran from January 24th to the 31st, was a real hit – it got the most live viewers while it was active, demonstrating its appeal.

The beta was given Xbox Play Anywhere functionality, allowing users to take part on multiple devices from consoles, to PCs and laptops.

It’s an interesting prospect in this current landscape of shooting people and fighting for your life in a battle royale. The idea of working together with people to run an old galleon and explore the vast – beautifully rendered – seas is certainly enticing.

Sea of Thieves will launch on Xbox One and PC on March 20th.

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