We're really excited about these huge 2021 Sea of Thieves changes

As we enter 2021, it seems that Sea of Thieves will be undergoing some big changes. Developer Rare has announced that it will be moving away from the monthly update structure it's been sticking to for the past year and a half and switching to a seasonal structure. With this, it sounds like we can expect major updates at slower pace, but we'll also see Sea of Thieves get its own battle pass called the Plunder Pass.

According to the video you see embedded below, Sea of Thieves Season 1 will kick off in January, so this new update structure will arrive with the new year. Rare says that each season will begin with a new feature or a piece of content, then throughout the season we can expect new live events, Emporium updates, and quality of life updates with balance changes.

Everyone will have access to a free battle pass that features 100 different Pirate Renown levels, which will offer new pirate and ship rewards as well as "some exclusives for Pirate Legends." We're not sure what those are at rhis point – or how frequently those rewards will be available through the 100 free Pirate Renown levels – but we do know that the Plunder Pass will be the premium version of Sea of Thieves' battle pass.

What the Plunder Pass entails is similarly unknown at the moment, but Rare says that it will grant access to "unique rewards, alongside some exclusives from our Pirate Emporium." We're not sure how much it will cost, but it seems safe to assume that each Plunder Pass will run somewhere around $10, as that seems to be the standard for battle passes across the games industry.

In other news, Rare says that each season will feature a new live event each month, so even with less frequent updates, there's still those to look forward to. We're also told that Rare will shift focus away from updating Arena frequently in favor of improving Adventure. Arena isn't going anywhere, but outside of maintaining the mode, Rare says that it won't be investing time into rolling out new Arena features from here on out.

So, we've got some big changes coming to Sea of Thieves in 2021, but there's a lot left to learn about what seasons and the Plunder Pass will entail. We'll let you know when Rare shares more details, so stay tuned for more.