Sea of Thieves will shut down its PVP arena

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Rare will be shutting down the PVP arena for Sea of Thieves soon. With only two percent of players regularly engaging with the mode, PVP arena lacks the popularity to justify continued support for it.

News of the shut down was revealed during the Sea of Thieves 2022 Preview Event, with a follow-up post dedicated to the announcement. Executive producer Joe “Three Sheets” Neate said the following regarding the tough decision to pull out Arena Mode:

“This was an extremely tough decision, but we firmly believe it’s the right one to allow us to focus on our plans for the central free-roaming Adventure mode. Despite the efforts of a hugely talented team, The Arena unfortunately never met the goals we originally had for it – either in creating a genuine alternative way to play Sea of Thieves with a competitive spin, or a short session experience if you didn’t have the time to commit to an open-ended Adventure session.”

“We learned a lot from the launch and development of The Arena, but one thing that really stands out is that launching a competitive mode is a far bigger investment and requires a far bigger creative focus than we realised going in. Despite sharing a lot of the same mechanics as Adventure, it is an entirely different experience, and one that would have required a huge amount of mindshare and development effort to stand alongside it – and given the disparity in audience sizes, it just became impossible to justify.”

While Adventure mode was growing, Arena mode had to follow and keep up and it came to the point that it was just just too much effort to keep it functioning in its base state with the amount of workload required. Ultimately, the team has decided to cut off Arena so they can focus on Adventure mode instead.

Sea of Thieves arena

As the curtains on Arena Mode draw to a close, Rare has set up rewards for those who have played and participated with ship cosmetics to use in Adventure Mode. Everyone who has reached or passed Sea Dogs Rank 5 will be rewarded with five different team ships: The Azure Scout, The Flaming Jackal, The Golden Chaser, The Lucky Rover and The Regal Hound.

Those among us who have proven their mettle in the Arena and have reached the SeaDogs Rank 50 will also receive The Good Boy ship as an additional bonus. The cut-off point for being eligible for these rewards was today and the rewards will be distributed after Arena closes on the 10th of March.

As a closing remark, Neate thanked the Sea of Thieves community with this statement.

“I’d like to close by saying thank you for reading this far, and for your understanding as you take this news on board. We know that not everyone is going to agree with this decision, but we truly believe it’s the best one for the overall future of Sea of Thieves.”

You can access Sea of Thieves via Steam or the Microsoft Store and play it on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and Windows 10 PC. It is also available as part of Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass. The open-sea pirate adventure is a wild one, and features a world filled with many secrets, like this obscure LucasArts reference that Matthew wrote about.