Multiple Sea Of Thieves streamers have publicly announced they are quitting the game claiming developer Rare has failed to address community issues. The story is coming from Kotaku, who is reporting that popular streams such as SayHeyRocco, Carrillo, Jason Sulli, and GullibleGambit revealed this week that they are officially leaving the game behind and moving onto new games, citing that they believe Rare has not addressed the harassment and toxicity in the community. Back when the game first started, the company was quick to let players know there would be an in-game policy known as the Pirate Code, clearly defining the behavior of which they expect players to conform to or be removed from the game. The first article in the code specifically says "Everyone is welcome on the Sea of Thieves regardless of age, gender, race, sexuality, nationality or creed." But this batch of high-profile players has accused the company of failing to uphold that standard.
Toxicity has been an issue in the game since Day One because as much as we want to believe everyone has good intentions, there will always be players who are trolls and are just there to raise hell and make everyone's time miserable. But it appears the issues have become worse in recent months with players being reported and few consequences or restrictions imposed on the community as a response like other games would do. It is a common occurrence with clips on Reddit and Twitch to see people be stream-sniped, have players jump in to scream racist, sexist, and homophobic slurs, tanking games on purpose to ruin the runs of a team, and ultimately just being jerks for the sake of chaos. There are even forums out there encouraging the behavior claiming "its what real pirates would do."
Rare responded in the article with a spokesperson saying, "We take all complaints seriously and we treat all our players fairly. All customer service complaints are treated with the same level of seriousness regardless of where they originate, or what the topic at hand is."
Regardless, those players are now gone, at least for now, and have taken their audience with them while shining a very bright light on the game and an issue that doesn't appear to be going away anytime soon. We'll see if this public demonstration pushes the company to start enacting any new restrictions, protocols, in-game options, and bans. We'd love to see Sea Of Thieves go after these players having had a few games over the past couple years be ruined ourselves. (Let me tell you, it's not fun having a player randomly join and do no work to get your treasure.)