Sea of Thieves has been growing its player base quite significantly since launch. It also has a major harassment problem in its community.
While the popular Rare title Sea of Thieves generally promotes pirate-like bad behavior due to the focus of its gameplay, many players have been expressing their displeasure at the high levels of toxicity and harassment they’ve been face. Even more so, they feel that such behavior from a significant portion of the player base has been largely ignored by Rare.
Several Sea of Thieves streamers, including SayHeyRocco, Carrillo, Jason Sulli, and GullibleGambit, announced they were quitting over Rare’s lack of response, which resulted in the reemergence of these issues. Said issues involve “players targeting individuals based on their gender, race, and sexuality; purposefully loading into the same servers as streamers to disrupt their broadcasts; and taking their issues from the game out in the real world.”
Signs of this began emerging back in 2018 when popular streamer Jaryd “Summit1G” Lazar brought in plenty of new players but also clashed with community members due to his behavior. Examples included highlighting criticism of him which resulted in targeted harassment by his fans, encouraging his fanbase to send information about alliance servers to invade on stream which also resulted in harassment outside of the game, broadcasting long rants about the game and developers, and other examples.
Despite much of this behavior violating Sea of Thieves‘ community guidelines (“Disputes are settled on the seas”), they did not directly address said behavior and instead invited Lazar to an official community livestream in 2019.
Earlier this year there was another streamer named Pace22, Lazar’s crewmember, who was implicated in a targeted abuse and doxxing campaign against the couple behind the Twitch streaming personality Rocco. Pace22 denied his involvement and Lazar also became involved with a direct rant against the couple. Later on after lashing out at Rare for the lack of response, they were removed from the Partner Programme. This resulted in other streamers leaving the program in solidarity.
Streamers Gambit and ComradeMolly, who both stream under the LGBTQIA+ tag, have also been vocal about their own experiences with harassment. In response a Rare spokesperson responded with two statements regarding some of these concerns:
We have already implemented changes within the Partner Programme to ensure that our creator community remains a positive and welcoming space, and we will work closely with our partners to ensure it remains so.
We’re committed to supporting our LGBTQ+ partners, streamers and creators—diversity only enriches our larger-than-life pirate community, and makes Sea of Thieves’ world a far more interesting one to explore and enjoy.
As stated in our Code of Conduct, Sea of Thieves is a game for everyone regardless of age, gender, race, sexuality, nationality, creed or disability. Prejudice of any kind is totally unacceptable. We will continue to support and promote our LGBTQ+ community of creators with our activities across our community, within the game, and with the events we run our partners.
Other than these statements, it is still unclear how much they have been working toward making these statements a reality. That remains to be seen.
These issues being addressed is especially important since Sea of Thieves has been growing in its audience at a steady pace. According to Beinji-Sales, during the last 7 days, the player count for Sea of Thieves on Steam has increased by almost 20,000 players. To be more specific, it has increased from 41,110 on June 7th (four days since it released on the platform) to 59,404 on June 13th.
In total Sea of Thieves has now topped 15 million players altogether. This means that in a little over six months, the game’s community has grown by 50%, which is pretty staggering for a title that released over two years ago at this point.
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