Rare Replay Interview: All the Hits, Sea of Thieves and Rare’s Future

Rare’s Nick Burton talks extensively about the company, Microsoft and much more.

Posted By | On 27th, Aug. 2015 Under Article, Interviews | Follow This Author @Rengarious


If you haven’t heard, Rare has made somewhat of a comeback with the Rare Replay, a compilation of 30 well-known – and not so well-known – titles ranging from the NES and arcade era to the Xbox 360. And all of it was available for $30 with numerous behind the scenes videos, concept art and challenge playlists to enjoy. Of course, Rare is also busy with a number of other things including Sea of Thieves, it’s upcoming online Xbox One and Windows 10 title.

GamingBolt’s Leonid Melikhov managed to speak to lead technology engineer Nick Burton at E3 2015 regarding a number of details surrounding Rare Replay before its release along with what can be expected in Sea of Thieves (it also seems we’ll have to wait before we actual get that new Conker game we’ve been craving).

Rare Replay

" One of the things we were looking at coming up to our 30th birthday – there were actually two things going on in the studio at the time. The development lead on Rare Replay, James Thomas, his wife is a museum curator and he’d been going through our entire heritage, physical assets just as a pet project because he wanted to save them."

 

Melikhov: I know there was a Kameo 2 in the works. But I know something happened to that.

Burton: You’ll have to see the behind the scenes documentaries in Rare Replay.

Melikhov: With Rare Replay, when did you guys decide to do that, and how long was it in development for? What was the origin of that game?

Burton: One of the things we were looking at coming up to our 30th birthday – there were actually two things going on in the studio at the time. The development lead on Rare Replay, James Thomas, his wife is a museum curator and he’d been going through our entire heritage, physical assets just as a pet project because he wanted to save them. We wanted to save so much stuff. At the same time I started doing that without digital assets as a pet project. James and I got talking about this and we decided to go and archive all of the stuff we got properly because it’s not all in one place.

Save it to make sure it didn’t decay for posterity. At the same time as that, we were sort of discussing how we could celebrate our 30th birthday. This was end of last summer. One day I got a call from Craig. “Can you come chat? We were thinking about doing something for the fans with our old back catalog. I know you and James have been looking at the physical and digital– could we actually do that?” and I’m like, “Yeah, yeah. We could do something.” And then we said, “Well, when’s it going to come out?””It has to come out our birthday year.””Well, we can’t do it. Rare’s about to have its 31st.” (laughs)

Melikhov: That would defeat the purpose.

Burton: Exactly. A few things got thrown around. More people got involved. I can’t remember who it was, but somebody wrote “30 times 30” on a white board. 30 games to celebrate 30 years. And we were like, “Well, we have 120 games in out back catalog. I’m sure we can find 30 good ones.”

Rare Replay_01

"We went back and filmed a lot of interviews with original developers of those. A lot are still around, some moved on. We got everybody back together."

Melikhov: Now you have to find the special ones.

Burton: We start looking at those, then we were wondering how much we’d charge for this. We did an exercise. We looked on eBay to find out how much it costs to put all those games together. There was no way we were charging hundreds of bucks for this. That’d just be dumb. It’s for the fans. Someone, again on the white board, just wrote “30, 30, 30” That’s really quite obvious isn’t it? We have to do that. That was about end of September, last year. Quite a quick project.

Melikhov: It’s just old games…

Burton: Well, it’s not. That’s the thing. First of all, talking about the actual titles themselves. We have 120 titles. Collins and Chris, one of our designers, they made a set of top trumps cards for all of our games that had how much the fans loved it; how much we loved it; how much relevance we thought it had today; how much relevance we thought it had to our history and our heritage; would it fit well in the package; could we do it in the time scale that we got?

Melikhov: Considering there are a lot of things.

Burton: A lot of things. Then we got it down to about 40 out of the 120. Squeezing it down to the last 30 was hard. We felt that we got really strong games that told the story and narrative of what Rare was and is and what it’s going to be in Sea of Thieves. Because it showed that trajectory. We were really happy with that. Of course, we had to do it now. The thing we didn’t want to do was just stick 30 games into a box.

So it is a lot more than that. With the old games we’ve added things a Hi-def, Low-def. It’s a 1080p simulation of how an old CRT TV looked. And it is really accurate. You can turn it off, you can turn it on. It’s about what the fans want. They get to choose. Some of the games are really hard. They’re very difficult for modern gamers– modern children who are used to games that are not so brutally difficult. Like Battletoads, for instance.

Then we put a rewind feature in as well, so you can rewind time which is cool. We went back and filmed a lot of interviews with original developers of those. A lot are still around, some moved on. We got everybody back together. We did a back story about it, added Achievements. Added something we call Snapshot Challenges which is where we’ve added extra gameplay into some of those old games. For instance, do you remember Turbo Tunnel back in Battletoads?

Melikhov: Yes.

Burton: Very hard. We now have infinite Turbo Tunnel as one of our challenges because the way we’ve approached the development to the games allows us to do that kind of thing. Again, it’s celebrating just what the game is. And let the fans play that. As we get newer and we come all the way up to Banjo-Kazooie Nuts and Bolts, Kameo, Perfect Dark as you just said — they are new enough, fresh enough to actually play. You can still just enjoy them as they were on the Xbox 360 and everything in between.

Melikhov: I see. You said there was 10,000 Gamerscore. How are you guys spreading that out in one way? Does each game get an even amount?

Burton: If we look at the Xbox 360 titles, the Achievements stand on those because they had Achievements, of course. And we bring those over. So if I’ve played Kameo, for instance, I get my Achievements and everything I had in Kameo brought over. Because we aren’t going to give you the Achievements again. You’ve done them once. But the unlocked progression that we get with those, that comes across.

As we look to the others, we spread it as evenly as we can. Sure, there are some hard ones. There are some really easy ones. We’re not going to throw one ‘G’ out at a time. It’s as balanced as any Xbox game would be when you think of approaching it like that rather than me trying to tell you for each game.

Rare Replay

"You know what Rare’s like: We’ve always had this silly irreverence. I’ve been asked so many times over the past few days, “are you doing a Banjo 3? Another Battletoads? Another Kameo?” Everybody’s got their thing they want."

Melikhov: If there are any glitched Achievements that won’t unlock, are you guys going to go back and fix it in a patch?

Burton: You will always have that. Because any first party studio at Microsoft– one of our key talents is to make sure the games are the best they can be for our fans. So of course you do title updates. That happens with every title. And Rare Replay will be no different.

Melikhov: I know some developers will release the game and then just never come back to it. People get mad about it.

Burton: Not first party.

Melikhov: Makes sense. You’ve talked about the video diary in Rare Replay. Is that something that’s already unlocked or is that something you have to unlock?

Burton: Some of the content you start with. The progression we have with the Snapshot challenges, you get stamps for that. The stamps allow the progression to unlocking those features. Because that is the progression mechanic for the game.

Melikhov: Is there something special that happens when you get everything 100 percented in the game?

Burton: The satisfaction that you have 100 percent.

Melikhov: That’s it? There’s not some secret video unlocked of Avengers three?

Burton: (laughing) Oh, dear. You know what Rare’s like: We’ve always had this silly irreverence. I’ve been asked so many times over the past few days, “are you doing a Banjo 3? Another Battletoads? Another Kameo?” Everybody’s got their thing they want. We are not going to say what we are doing. And we are not going to put it into a video. Phil Spencer, he likes to hint in bizarre ways.

Melikhov: He was wearing a Battletoads t-shirt at a conference. I mean–

Burton: I gave it to him.

Melikhov: Yeah, but still–

Burton: He did that on purpose.

Rare Replay

"If you look at Kinect Sports, it’s actually an amazing game. Especially for younger gamers. You take them into schools and you let 10 year olds play it. It’s not a “cool” game. That’s not what it was for or what it was about."

Melikhov: Obviously just to mess with people. People knew that Rare was going to be there but they were like “Is it going to be a new IP? Is it a remaster? Is it a sequel? What’s going on?” You know, we got two things. So you have 30 games — I’m not going to have you list all of them.

Burton: There’s plenty to list on there.

Melikhov: I’ve already seen the list, so you don’t need to do that. It’s 30 dollars which is phenomenal. How did it go through the publisher’s side? Because that’s very cheap.

Burton: They absolutely loved it.

Melikhov: I think it’s one of the best things that has come from Rare recently.

Burton: We are super proud. A lot of us that work there, we love working at Rare because we are Rare fans ourselves. The game that I first bought with my pocket money was Jetpac, which is actually in Rare Replay. It was the game that got me into computer programming that ultimately lead me to a University which ultimately led to me working at Rare.

Melikhov: How many years have you been at Rare?

Burton: I’ve been there for 17 years.

Melikhov: So you’re quite a veteran.

Burton: Yes. There are quite a few of us that have. It’s such a great place to work. It’s been so amazing. Always has been. Always energized. I just can’t imagine doing anything else.

Melikhov: You’re coming back in full force with your collection Rare Replay. Is that your way of saying, “We heard the fans say you don’t want us to be on Kinect anymore. It’s not what Rare is. We are coming back full force. Here’s a new IP and here’s our memory and your memory of what we are known for.”

Burton: No. It isn’t actually. First of all I should say I was one of the Kinect technical leads. Kinect is an amazing piece of technology. If you look at Kinect Sports, it’s actually an amazing game. Especially for younger gamers. You take them into schools and you let 10 year olds play it. I am super proud of all those games. And they are still very Rare. If you think of it like this: Rare has always done something different. We always want to do something different. We don’t want to stand still and we don’t want to do the same thing again.

And you look through Rare Replay and that’s what that’s like. Kinect was our “we are doing something different.” We’re doing the silly, irreverent, crazy British humor thing that we’ve got. With motion gaming, “let’s try that and see where it goes.” But if we were to have done a fourth Kinect thing, that wouldn’t have made sense. It was time for us to do something new to get really energized about something different because we wouldn’t have been energized about doing another Kinect game. I’ve honestly been proud of every single game that I’ve worked on. I’ve worked on all three Kinect Sports games. I know it’s not necessarily what the core fans wanted.

Sea of Thieves

"Back in the past we had a character called AskUncleTusk. He was Rare’s social portal. It would start off with people asking him genuine questions about our games, and he sometimes would give them genuine answers. He was quite abusive sometimes. It turned into people just asking UncleTusk to be horrible to them. Which he did."

Melikhov: I think that’s what it was, the core fans.

Burton: But if you think about gaming fans — and everybody’s a gamer now — the fact that my kids go to school and say, “my dad made Kinect Sports.” All of their friends think that’s amazing. Of course it wasn’t just me. There’s a big team at Rare. It was time to do something different. This is the same thing we did with Kinect Sports. But now is the time to do something like Sea of Thieves.

Melikhov: Speaking of Sea of Thieves, I know you guys are a little quiet on that. I am just going to talk about what I saw in the trailer or press conference myself. From what I’ve seen it seems like a pirate game.

Burton: Of course.

Melikhov: Parrots walking down the plank, battles between the ships. From what I have seen, it has a very big emphasis on cooperative play. Like you said, Rare does something different. Most people expected a new Banjo sequel or Perfect Dark or the next Battletoads, or whatever the core fans wanted. But you come out with this pirate game. There aren’t that many pirate games out there. “Look a pirate game from Rare. This is going to be good.” You guys have pretty good 3D graphics. Is this based on playing with multiple people or this some sort of a single player component?

Burton: You’ve done a brilliant description of what’s there. In the way we’ve launched the new logo, which is inspired by, let’s call it “classic Rare” like Rare Replay. We are getting in touch with our roots. We are also getting in touch with, what’s the word? Coy and a bit playful how we let out the information. We’ve been super teasey. What we do have is…I’m not going to tell you anything. But we do have someone on Twitter who may or may not tell you things.

Melikhov: That doesn’t tell me anything.

Burton: Oh, it does. You need to Follow: “AskCaptainBones” on Twitter. He’s our skeletal pirate captain. He’s been here in L.A. with us. He’s already lost one of his legs and has now got a wooden leg– and I am not joking. I am completely serious about that. You can speak to him and he might tell you pirate stuff, he might tell you stuff about transcendental meditation.

Back in the past we had a character called AskUncleTusk. He was Rare’s social portal. It would start off with people asking him genuine questions about our games, and he sometimes would give them genuine answers. He was quite abusive sometimes. It turned into people just asking UncleTusk to be horrible to them. Which he did. For a small group of fans he became a “real” thing for them. And AskCaptainBones…

Melikhov: On Twitter.

Burton: On Twitter. He is most definitely in that mold. You should ask Bonesey about Sea of Thieves.

Sea of Thieves

"Going back to that top trumps kind of thing where we got into this big war with all the games. We got Live and Reloaded and we got Bad Fur Day. And we also got all the different Battletoads games. Going to the Battletoads for a moment, we looked at the NES and we said we had to put the NES Battletoads in there because that’s childhood memories. That was a no-brainer."

Melikhov: I see. So that’s your nice way of saying “no.”

Burton: (laughs) What we wanted to do with the announcement is we wanted to get it right.

Melikhov: What was your original intent on that?

Burton: We’ve been developing this for a while. So we are like giddy school children. “This is actually really good! We are going to show the world!”

Melikhov: What’s considered “a while”? A year or two?

Burton: Uh… Since we finished development on Kinect Sports: Rivals.

Melikhov: Sounds like about 1.5 to two years.

Burton: Before that we have an incubation department at Rare that just generate ideas and things all the time. We do game jams just to generate ideas, generate excitement. They got something that was pretty cool, that was cooking. You are never quite sure if something is going to work. Iterate on it a little bit more. And it was sort of like, “yeah, this is it. Let’s go for it. Let’s build a proper development team.” Teams scale up and down all the time.

Melikhov: So you have two titles in development Sea of Thieves and Rare Replay which is…

Burton: Ah! We never say how many we have in development. We have an incubation team.

Melikhov: So when can I play the next Conker?

Burton: (laughs) Nice try. You’d have to ask Bonesey.

Melikhov: People have been asking that for a long time. And Battletoads. You guys have such a great catalog. There are people who love to see new things. There’s the core fan base that loves to see sequels. Why did you guys decide to not release Conker’s Live and Reloaded?

Burton: That’s interesting. Going back to that top trumps kind of thing where we got into this big war with all the games. We got Live and Reloaded and we got Bad Fur Day. And we also got all the different Battletoads games. Going to the Battletoads for a moment, we looked at the NES and we said we had to put the NES Battletoads in there because that’s childhood memories. That was a no-brainer.

Then Gregg Mayles who was our design director said – he’s the guy invented Battletoads and Banjo – he said, “Well, the definitive Battletoads, how Battletoads was always meant to be is Battletoads Arcade.” Then we’d be playing again and it was awesome. So we had to put two Battletoads in there. So then we were looking at other games. Bear in mind we had to squeeze the amount down. We though, “what about Conker? What are we going to do with Conker?” And then we were like, “the graphics are way better in Live and Reloaded.” It was one of the high points of the original Xbox.

Conker Live and Reloaded

"I remember being a student and my friends and I would come back from the pub and we’d put Perfect Dark on. And I was way better at Perfect Dark than any of my friends. I remember one of my friends actually having me around the neck on the floor saying, “if you kill me with a mine one more time I’m actually going to hurt you.” "

Melikhov: Beautiful.

Burton: Beautiful game. And still stands that way now. We wanted to know what the fans wanted so we, let’s call it “read the internet.” We see what people post online and ask for. The thing that people seemed to be clamoring for was Bad Fur Day. So we said, “let’s do Bad Fur Day.” And we didn’t have enough room to do both of them, as well. So we thought that is what people would want to play. The key term was “It’s for the fans.”

Melikhov: You guys have so many games in that collection. More than half of them I haven’t even seen or played. The only ones I remember was Conker’s, Battletoads…

Burton: But that was the time you played them.

Melikhov: But I, personally, never played the originals. Even though I’ve heard great things about them.

Burton: Again, this is important because there’s a part of your gaming history there that you can relive. But then there’s a new bit of narrative that you’ve never seen.

Melikhov: And that’s exciting to me.

Burton: It’s exciting to me that I can show my children– I can play the old Sinclair Spectrum games I grew up with. Even though you’ve probably never seen them. Since we have such a broad spectrum of things, we want to try and have something that’s going to really resonate with everybody. I’m sure you could have your perfect 30. I could have my perfect 30.

Melikhov: Right. I remember one of my favorite times was playing Conker’s Bad Fur Day down stairs in a basement on an N64. When we come home we were able to just play Heist and just beat the crap out of each other with bats. It’s just something addicting about it. Or playing that map with the dinosaurs and hitting each other with boots. I will never forget that moment.

Burton: I remember being a student and my friends and I would come back from the pub and we’d put Perfect Dark on. And I was way better at Perfect Dark than any of my friends. I remember one of my friends actually having me around the neck on the floor saying, “if you kill me with a mine one more time I’m actually going to hurt you.” (laughs)

Melikhov: Damn. Some real competition there. As you said previously, you guys want to do something new, you like to innovate. So you have Sea of Thieves. Speaking of that, are you guys going to be at Gamescom?

Burton: We’ll be at Gamescom and we’ll be at Comic Con.

rare-logo

"How it works internally at Microsoft, is all of the game studios, all of the teams, we all work together collectively. Like great friends. Lionhead, 343, there’s a load of guys that work on Halo that are ex-Rare. So we have these big get-togethers."

Melikhov: Can we expect to see more on Sea of Thieves at Gamescom?

Burton: (laughs) Ask Captain Bones!

Melikhov: There’s a reason you’re going to Gamescom, obviously.

Burton: The big reason for it, the big push at the moment for a trade show is to let as many of our fans play Rare Replay as possible.

Melikhov: So that’s your biggest thing right now because it’s on the horizon, and it’s coming out in two months.

Burton: You’re going to have to wait and see if there is any other…

Melikhov: And Gamescom is in, what, six weeks? Pretty close to E3. Lot of work.

Burton: Well, Comic Con comes first. Comic Con in about three week’s time.

Melikhov: I see. Alright, sounds good. Speaking of branching out and doing new things. For the 360 you did the Kinect stuff. You did the camera for Viva Piñata. What do you think of HoloLens?

Burton: It’s an amazing piece of tech.

Melikhov: Yeah. I went to the Halo 5 HoloLens experience. I thought it was a pretty good. I don’t know if you’ve done it…

Burton: I have.

Melikhov: So you’ve probably seen all the crazy stuff that we haven’t seen. Seeing a change live one to one as I walked through a real life environment… It’s a really nice way of immersing yourself. It’s not V.R., it’s A.R., it’s the alternate reality that comes here instead of the reality that you’re putting yourself into.

Burton: It feels more tangible because part of it is in the real world to me.

HoloLens

"If our labs team came up with something that was just the most awesome thing ever, and it required HoloLens, then absolutely we’d go there."

Melikhov: People ask what’s more immersive, V.R. or A.R. I say a combination of both. It’s hard to say in today’s day.

Burton: I think it’s too early to say. It’s one of the things that we say about HoloLens is it isn’t in competition with V.R.

Melikhov: No, it’s not. It’s a completely different thing.

Burton: It’s a completely different thing.

Melikhov: That’s what I like about it. Microsoft has this thing that has nothing to do with– it’s in a realm of future technology of immersing people. But it’s not virtual reality. It’s alternate reality.

Burton: Exactly. It’s its own thing. And it’s going to take…who knows what direction it goes.

Melikhov: Right. I saw the demo for Minecraft. I personally don’t like Minecraft. But I think it was a perfect to show it off at.

Burton: It’s amazing.

Melikhov: I was like, “wow!” You guys played with Kinect so I’m thinking, “I’m sure Rare is going to think of something.”

Burton: (laughs)

Melikhov: Or very early talks or proof of concept. You know. In the back of your mind you think about this.

Burton: How it works internally at Microsoft, is all of the game studios, all of the teams, we all work together collectively. Like great friends. Lionhead, 343, there’s a load of guys that work on Halo that are ex-Rare. So we have these big get-togethers. And even the research guys, we all work with those guys as well. We are just trying to push the envelope of what technology can do. And we are the entertainment to all of that. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t personally excited about it. Are we actually doing anything with it right now? We are concentrating on Sea of Thieves and Rare Replay. If we were to have an idea for it that made sense, we’d absolutely go there.

Melikhov: Right now you have other priorities and that’s fine. I’m thinking that eventually, that will be put in– maybe not seriously in this generation but it will slowly transition over in the next six years.

Burton: The thing is, if it’s the right thing–

Melikhov: And the right time.

Burton: We’d factor that in, right? If our labs team came up with something that was just the most awesome thing ever, and it required HoloLens, then absolutely we’d go there. But it’s the experience. What’s the best, coolest, most amazing experience that we think people were going to love? Right? What is the technology we need to do that? We never go, “we have this technology, and we are going to make something for it.” We always do it the other way around.

Yooka Laylee

"There aren’t so many 3D platformers. I think there are some beautiful 2D platformers. Ori, for instance Playtonic guys, they are not in competition with us. They’re our friends where we are doing something different from what they are doing."

Melikhov: I’m sure you guys have heard of Yooka-Laylee.

Burton: All the guys who do Yooka-Laylee are my mates. I’ve known them for years.

Melikhov: How do you feel about that? What do you think about that game?

Burton: It’s cool!

Melikhov: Do you feel like it’s a Banjo spiritual successor?

Burton: I’ll have to wait and see and play it.

Melikhov: Did you help kickstart it?

Burton: Well, they’re my friends. It’s an awesome thing that they’re doing. Going and doing a Kickstarter, wanting to work in a smaller team, that’s awesome. I love 3D platformers.

Melikhov: I honestly think, right now, that 3D platformers are, unfortunately a dying genre. I don’t want it to be, but there’s not that many developers that do that. 

Burton: There aren’t so many 3D platformers. I think there are some beautiful 2D platformers. Ori, for instance Playtonic guys, they are not in competition with us. They’re our friends where we are doing something different from what they are doing.

Melikhov: But it still has that Rare magic to it. Because it is ex Rare devs.

Burton: Well, it is ex Rare guys.

Rare Replay_01

"The one thing Craig Duncan had in our studio, who is one of the most awesome guys I know, he says, and he’s right, “If we were ever to revisit something, we do something which is new and exciting, not just the same thing over and over again.”"

Melikhov: Personal choice?

Burton: Yeah. It’s totally cool in the same way that you saw the art style in Sea of Thieves, it’s got that Rare look to it. It’s a very distinctive style.

Melikhov: That’s awesome. So when is Rare Replay coming out? August–

Burton: August 4th.

Melikhov: A month and a half? That’s not long at all.

Burton: Yes. Not long at all.

Melikhov: I can’t wait to play it. How many do you think it will take to get 10,000 Gamerscore?

Burton: I don’t know exactly. What I do know is we did the math on how long it was going to take to play most of the content. Because the thing to remember as well, on the 360 games, all of the DLC comes with it as well.

Melikhov: That’s a lot of stuff.

Burton: That’s a lot of stuff. So when you think of that part of it, it’s at least 700 hours of gameplay.

Melikhov: So I have 700 hours to go until Sea of Thieves.

Burton: (laughs) Well, it’s going to keep you busy. That’s for sure. Seriously, though. If you were just chasing the Gamerscore you could probably do it quicker than that because you would miss some content. I don’t think we’ve done the math to figure out what that would be. There’s a lot of game in there to play.

Melikhov: I love those games. I was hoping you guys would announce Viva Piñata 3–

Burton:(laughs) It’s interesting you keep saying, like, “is there Battletoads, another Viva Piñata…”

Melikhov: There’s so many games.

Burton: There’s so many games. The one thing Craig Duncan had in our studio, who is one of the most awesome guys I know, he says, and he’s right, “If we were ever to revisit something, we do something which is new and exciting, not just the same thing over and over again.” You can still take that with whatever you want. Say well, “there’s new platform mechanics.” Maybe…or something. Would you want to do just a Banjo 3 in the same…do you know what I mean?

Rare Replay_02

"It’s an amazing time to work for Microsoft because there are very few companies that can do this type of thing and we’re one of them. It’s the super smart people. I work with the smartest, most creative people I’ve ever met."

Melikhov: Right. I think a lot of people want for nostalgia.

Burton: Yeah. Which is one of the reasons Rare Replay exists. It’s for the fans.

Melikhov: I think it’s nostalgia, but I also think it’s….when N64 came out people were floored by Super Mario 64. That game was a revolution at the time. When was the last time you played something so revolutionary? The only thing coming close this generation is VR. People haven’t experienced that to where they say, “this is the most absolutely, phenomenal thing ever experienced.”

Burton: But one of the things that happened when we went from 2D to 3D is we opened up a whole new set of interactions that didn’t experience before. A whole new way of experiencing a game world.

Melikhov: I feel like VR could do that.

Burton: They could. Whether they found it yet…

Melikhov: I don’t know, I haven’t personally experienced enough.

Burton: Oh, no. I’d agree. We need to experience this stuff in order to find the best things that work with it. It’s a very exciting time because this is happening.

Melikhov: This is something that’s never been done before.

Burton: It’s an amazing time to work for Microsoft because there are very few companies that can do this type of thing and we’re one of them. It’s the super smart people. I work with the smartest, most creative people I’ve ever met.

Melikhov: It must be an honor.

Burton: It is. It’s great. So I’m really excited to see what happens. But who knows?

 

Sea of Thieves_01

"Sea of Thieves will not be a myth."

Melikhov: The last question I have– I know you’re going to tell me to “ask Captain Bones,” but I’m going to ask anyway. Sometimes people do like and don’t like when a title is announced early, super early. With Sea of Thieves, we don’t really know what’s going on with that game at all. Usually when people are quiet they’re like, “Oh, this is coming in 2017.” In that sense, are we going to see something in the next two years? 

Burton: Personally, I don’t think it would be right to announce something that early. I think when projects take that long they get into trouble somehow.

Melikhov: Yeah, and people don’t like that. People start to worry that it’s going through development hell. So it’s either going to fall down, flat on its back, and fail. We don’t want Sea of Thieves to become a myth.

Burton: Sea of Thieves will not be a myth.

Melikhov: That’s all I need to hear, that it will not be a myth. That we will hear something about it soon.

Burton: I’m not saying that. But you will not have to wait five years for it.

Melikhov: Thanks a ton for your time. It was great speaking to you.

Burton: Thank you.

 


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