When Sea of Thieves initially launched this past March, it did so with a bare-bones offering of gameplay. While the game is absolutely gorgeous and has some of the best water physics and sailing dynamics in gaming, it just didn't have a lot of depth to the gameplay loops. Thankfully, this problem wasn't one that Rare was above addressing. The development studio decided to go out of its way to add more content to Sea of Thieves and update it as frequently as possible; this includes rolling out a consistent number of patches and DLC expansion packs throughout the year for both Windows 10 and Xbox One owners, with three major updates coming this year.
IGN is reporting that there will be three new content updates for Sea of Thieves following the three major updates that have already been announced for the game, and some of which are already available. The site managed to nab an interview with Rare's head of the studio, Craig Duncan, along with the design director Mike Chapman, and talk about the new content inbound for the game. Chapman confirmed to the outlet:
One way you could look at it is we've done the really hard part. And now we've got this magical opportunity to make all the areas of the game richer. And beyond The Hungering Deep, Cursed Sails, and Forsaken Shores is coming, there's going to be three more this year as well.
So that confirms that following the latest announced expansion pack, known as Forsaken Shores, there will be several more expansions set to release before 2018 concludes. The next major expansion for Sea of Thieves is actually due out later this month called Cursed Sails. These expansions aren't necessarily world-changing, but they do offer gamers rather ample amounts of replayability in between lulls of new updates.
As Chapman mentioned, the hard part is over with, and Sea of Thieves is complete. From here on the team will be working on using the base game as a canvas to expand on the gameplay content and replayability. Introducing new islands to visit, new quests to take on, new monsters to fight and new PvP and co-op opportunities are where Rare happens to be directing its attention after receiving fan feedback.
The current update out now, The Hungering Deep, came out two months ago in May for Xbox One and Windows 10 owners. It introduced the Megalodon to the game, and it also forced a new kind of cooperative tactic into the fold. In order to defeat the Megalodon, it requires at least five people, so two groups of pirates must team up to complete the quest and unlock the new gear that comes with the quest. It's not an easy task, and often most people find that it's better with three pirate ships instead of two. This was designed to create new forms of emergent gameplay among gamers, as well as offer both new cooperative and competitive elements to the game.
We don't know what the time span will be between the new content and the Forsaken Shores, but since the Forsaken Shores will launch in September, it's likely that the next three updates will be available in October, November, and December to round out the year.