Despite a little bit of a rocky reception at first, online pirate adventure, Sea of Thieves, has grown into a rather successful game. With the team at Rare continuing to release fun an interesting content for the title at no extra cost to the player, the number of people setting sail is continuing to grow, hitting a massive milestone of five million people having played it so far.

Dropping today, Cursed Sails marks the second major update for Sea of Thieves, adding gnarly enemy Skeleton Ships, a new Brigantine three-player ship, and a new Alliance system which allows players to team up with folks they meet out in the world.

The new features come as part of a three-week campaign, with new goals and rewards available each week. If you already own Sea of Thieves, the content update will be available to you for free on Xbox One and PC. Alternatively, if you’ve got Xbox Game Pass, you’ll be able to take that shit for a spin via the service. Once the limited campaign ends, the new features will remain in the world for everyone to use.

Speaking with senior designer, Shelley Preston, and executive producer, Joe Neate, at E3 in June, it’s obvious the Rare team really care for the community of pirates fanging around their digital waters. The three of us agreed that those who have the most fun out in the world are those who thrive on interaction with others. Incredibly, 1.5 million Xbox Live friendships have been formed on the Sea of Thieves.

“We really dreamed of people making friends through our games,” Preston told PEDESTRIAN.TV. “It shows we’ve set a really good foundation for what we tried to do and now it’s just about building on that and bringing more content to people.”

One of their favourite stories of people fucking around on the sea came about when the team introduced the speaking trumpet, which is a tool that allows people to use proximity chat at a much greater distance.

“In some games that are maybe centred around competition, people would use that to gain an advantage and it could introduce toxicity and negativity,” Neate said. “But broadly, people don’t use their voice for that in Sea of Thieves, they use it to communicate. We saw people who were like, pretending they worked at Wendy’s and trying to take people’s orders.”

In one of these instances, a player on the other end asked for a cheeseburger, but the joker responded with, “oh, we’ve only got bananas,” Preston said.

It’s a crazy world out there for pirates, folks. Make sure you check out all the new goodies in the Cursed Sails update, available now for Xbox One and PC.

Image: Rare