Sea of Thieves launches microtransaction store, includes £25 ship set
Wait for the sail.
Pets have finally arrived in Sea of Thieves as part of this month's Smuggler's Fortune update, and with them comes the game's new real-world cash store.
The Pirate Emporium, as Sea of Thieves' microtransaction marketplace is known, has been a long time coming, with Rare revealing its intentions to introduce cash purchases to its multiplayer pirate adventure well before its release last March. Now that the store is finally live, however, we can see just exactly where it lies on the ol' microtransaction exploitation scale.
We had a few hints of how Sea of Thieves' microtransactions would stack up earlier this week when, during Monday's developer livestream, Rare displayed US pricing for its premium currency, Ancient Coins. Now though, we can see UK prices for Sea of Thieves' awkwardly sized Ancient Coins bundles, used to purchase items in the Pirate Emporium:
- 150 Ancient Coins - £1.69 ($1.99 USD)
- 550 Ancient Coins - £4.99 ($5.99 USD)
- 1,000 Ancient Coins - £8.39 ($9.99 USD)
- 2,550 Ancient Coins - £19.24 ($22.99 USD)
- 4250 Ancient Coins - £29.24 ($34.99 USD)
It's perhaps also worth noting that Ancient Coins can be earned by defeating "rare" Ancient Skeletons in-game, although, with no clear indication of just how rare these are at present - and no idea of how many coins they might offer - this is likely best treated as a very occasional pleasant bonus, used to top up an existing stash of Ancient Coins, rather than as a means of avoiding spending real-world money altogether.
And with UK prices now revealed, it's possible to put something like a real-world value on Sea of Thieves' various new in-game items, even if the variable cash equivalents of Ancient Coin bundle pricing inevitably means that it's hard to pin down an exact amount.
Two breed variants are available for each pet - the macaw and parakeet for parrots, and the barbary and capuchin for monkeys - and they weigh in at 499 Ancient Coins apiece, so just shy of £5. That doesn't feel extreme at first glance, particularly compared to the brazen micro-transaction costs seen in other games, but, disappointingly, Rare has elected to eke out more cash by making colour variants only available as separate, full-price pets - meaning you'll have to spent another five quid if you suddenly want a brown monkey instead of orange one.
Outfits, of which there are currently only one per pet category, cost 249 Ancient Coins (somewhere around £2.50), and there's a single pet and outfit bundle for 649 Ancient Coins - but you don't get a choice as to your pet colour here.
Elsewhere, the Pirate Emporium sells emotes, with Rare's launch store featuring a total of eight. Two of these can be purchased individually for 149 Ancient Coins (around £1.69), while the rest are only available in a 999 (£8.40-ish) Ancient Coin bundle.
Easily the most egregious addition to the store, however, comes in the form of Sea of Thieves' first paid ship cosmetic set. These are due to refresh on a regular basis, with each one being themed around a classic video game IP. The current offer, a Banjo-Kazooie set consisting of seven themed pieces - a figurehead, hull, sails, capstan, wheel, flag, and cannon - costs 2,499 Ancient Coins (close to £18). Two "Collector's" edition figurehead and sail variants bring the complete set up to around £25.
So all in all, it's pretty standard fare for microtransactions in a post-Fortnite world. Emotes and pets certainly aren't bank-breakers, unless you embark on a gotta-collect-'em-all spending spree for every colour variation, but those ship set prices are absolutely on their way toward the deplorable end of the microtransaction spectrum.
Sea of Thieves' microtransaction store arrives as part of the new Smuggler's Fortune update, which also adds a selection of limited-time voyages, various quality-of-life improvements (including cross-play opt-out in Arena), and the new Duke's Black Market store - offering new items, plus variants of limited-time cosmetics, that can only be bought using in-game currency.
The game's new monthly release cadence means that Sea of Thieves' next big update, currently still a mystery, will launch on Wednesday 9th October.