Sea of Thieves Is the Result of Rare’s Lack of Innovation, According to Michael Pachter
The UK Charts have rolled out yet again, and it just so happens, Sea of Thieves fell just shy of the top 10. The game, developed by Rare, saw a 26% sales increase; but after more than four years of development, one analyst rates the performance as low.
Analyst Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities recently dropped his take on the state of Microsoft exclusives. He blames their lack of a standout success on the limited ability of the studios. In Sea of Thieves‘ case, he stated that the lack of sales stems from Rare’s inability to innovate.
“You know, I think, and I mean this with respect, but I think they have limited capacity within their studios to innovate,” Pachter told GamingBolt. “So the 343 guys do Halo, and that’s great, and it challenges them to the max, to come up with some new twist every 2-3 years on Halo. The Coalition guys do Gears, and it’s the same thing for them. Rare, on the other hand, has just not been very good at innovation.”
A lack of innovation and the niche nature of pirate games, Pachter added, resulted in mediocre sales for Sea of Thieves.
“I think the pirate genre is just outrageously stupid- but, again, that’s just me, it’s not my thing. I didn’t like Assassin’s Creed Black Flag because of the pirates stuff, but I know people who only did that. So… I think it’s a niche audience, and I am not that motivated to go find 400 treasure chests and put them on my ship, it makes me look like a container or cargo ship. I’m not into that, I don’t get it. And I don’t personally like games where you play multiplayer and others can go get your stuff, and you have to go get your weapons and your gear back. It’s not my kind of thing.”
When considering games like God of War, Super Mario Odyssey, Zelda, and Horizon, Pachter argues that Microsoft got the short end of the talent stick. The bandwidth of Nintendo and Sony first-party studios has cranked out top sellers in the industry, and Xbox’s track record shows a wide disparity. In other words, Pacher believes the success of Microsoft is hindered by its studio’s limitations.
“I think the decisions Microsoft makes on what games to make are based on the talent they have internally, and as for Rare, I think this is what they’ve got,” said Pachter. “This is the best they can come up with. So it’s hard. There’s a lot of rumors about Microsoft buying someone, whether EA or Bethesda, and these rumors are based upon the commonly held perception that Microsoft needs more first-party content.
“I honestly think Sony has a deeper bandwidth of talented studios, they have multiple 90+ ratings among them. And Microsoft doesn’t have as many. They had Lionhead, and that didn’t work out very well. They’ve stuck with Rare for 20 years, and that didn’t work out… I just think Rare has gotten worse and worse.”
Despite what Pachter believes, Sea of Thieves hasn’t hit the roughest patch commercially. It sold relatively well, yet it suffered critically. Perhaps better reviews would have pushed the Xbox One exclusive to the heights of console competitors. Speaking of, check out our own Sea of Thieves review for a better idea of what Rare’s game has to offer. Additionally, feel free to let us know your thoughts on Pachter’s comments in the comments below.