Sea Of Thieves Developer Worked Hard To Keep Pirates Of The Caribbean Crossover Secret

The development team at Rare had to change much of its workflow to keep the Pirates of the Caribbean crossover from leaking ahead of its reveal.


The Sea of Thieves team at Rare had to really adjust its workflow in order to keep the new Pirates of the Caribbean-themed expansion, A Pirate's Life, a secret. In an interview with, Sea of Thieves executive producer Joe Neate said that the team had to adjust its work processes to avoid any information leaking out about the crossover with Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean.

"We changed everything in terms of how we worked and shared information internally," Neate said. "We send a team update each week. It's just a PDF about what all the different teams are working on. We codenamed everything, and we didn't include any imagery that was related to the IP in those."

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Now Playing: Sea of Thieves - A Pirate's Life Showcase Livestream

Sea of Thieves' A Pirate's Life update was announced during the Xbox and Bethesda Gameshow case on June 13 and released today, a little over a week later. The announcement came as a surprise, without any notable leaks ahead of time. Neate said that Disney and Rare first discussed the crossover at E3 2019, where Disney approached them looking to do a crossover with the multiplayer pirate game, with Pirates of the Caribbean as the leading IP. Neate and the development team had to consider how a crossover would fit into the game, since Sea of Thieves itself drew influence from Pirates of the Caribbean.

Ultimately, Rare chose to move forward with Disney, gaining access to key members of the film teams and the Disneyland park teams. Rare worked directly with those teams to integrate characters, locations, and music into the expansion, even getting the music directly from the ride the movies were based on.

As for keeping the project a secret, Neate said that despite developing a strong relationship with Disney, adding each other on Twitter and Linkedin, the team had to be careful with what posts they were liking and sharing. Neate said he was afraid of even congratulating John Drake, the VP of Games at Disney, on the birth of his child because a Sea of Thieves fan posted the eyeballs emoji the last time he tweeted at Drake.

The Sea of Thieves' A Pirate's Life expansion is live now on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. The massive update includes new story missions, characters, enemies, and places to explore.

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