Sea of Thieves developer Rare has announced another beta for its upcoming multiplayer pirate game. This beta will be the final one before the game's release date in a few weeks and is open to everyone on Xbox One and PC. It's live now and runs until March 11 at 2 AM PT / 5 AM ET / 10 AM GMT / 9 PM AEST.

During a developer update about the final beta, executive producer Joe Neate explained that the studio wants to have a greater number of players trying the game out than before, and in order to do so it has opened up the trial to everyone. Additionally, a number of new features have been included in the new beta.

The first of them is the Merchant Alliance, which is a faction that tasks players with capturing animals in exchange for rewards. Another new feature being tested in the beta is Skeleton Forts, which creates the opportunity for forts in the world to be occupied by skeletons. These special forts offer greater rewards for those who clear them out, but they're signified by large clouds hovering above them that are visible to all players. Naturally, this means you may have to battle other players as well as skeletons for riches.

Neate emphasized that there could be issues with the beta as the studio is testing the game and its features, and inviting a much larger amount of people to put the game's servers through its paces. If problems do arise, Rare says it may put temporary blocks on new players coming in to even out the experience. The services team will also be working on-the-fly to resolve any other issues that come up.

The Sea of Thieves release date is March 20. It will be one of the first big tests of Microsoft's ambitious Game Pass expansion, which gives subscribers access to a suite of games including all first-party titles on day-and-date of release. While you're waiting to explore the briny deep, check out 10 reasons we're excited and why we think it has such potential.

Source: GameSpot