To say that Rare are banking heavily on Sea of Thieves would be an understatement but it seems to be paying off. Bean counters at NPD announced the Microsoft exclusive to be Rare's best selling game ever and eight best selling in 2018.
Note that the data is accurate as of 1995, when NPD started their database and covers both digital and physical sales made in that period.
Of course, Rare have been quite prolific even before 1995, which is when they were still tied to Nintendo and their hardware. However, it's safe to say they didn't even come close to anything on the scale of Sea of Thieves.
Sea of Thieves is also said to be the eighth best selling title of 2018, although statistics may actually be a bit misleading here. Even though it hasn't left the charts since its March 2018 launch, Sea of Thieves barely had any proper triple A competition other than Far Cry 5.
To be fair, Rare are widely regarded to have not been as prolific as they should have since joining team Microsoft. In fact, accusations even went as far as suggesting Rare have been downgraded to a lowly developer of the now defunct Kinect, although the developer vehemently denied this.
They claim to have been hard at work behind the scenes, figuring out ways to get back on the scene in style and Sea of Thieves seems to have been as good a ticket as any. Of course, 2018 is far from over but early signs are extremely encouraging.
That's not to say everything is rosy in the Sea(s) of Thieves. In fact, the game has come under criticism for lack of content. Nevertheless, Rare have long made their development plan public, claiming that this period is reserved for polishing and tweaking existing concepts.
Rare did however roll out their first legendary ship customisation option priced at saucy 300 thousand gold, hopefully signalling the first of many updates. Seeing as how the game only features cosmetic progression, we're sure many players are anxious to differentiate themselves from the Great Unwashed.