Sea of Thieves


Rare brought us on to collaborate with them on their award-winning pirate adventure, Sea of Thieves. The challenge was to build an out-of-game experience for their second Mystery event, engaging the SoT community with an engrossing ARG treasure hunt; merging real world and in-game activations.

Working with one of the UK’s top puzzle masters, we created a four chapter weekly experience, The Hoarder’s Hunt, where fans had to solve over 50 clues to win a 24K Golden Skull.

Challenges were rolled out in four chapters and ranged from riddles and cipher cracking to hiding clues on platforms such as Twitter, Twitch, YouTube, Spotify, Amazon and Google Maps. Solving each chapter in the real and digital world unlocked a code for an in-game voyage for players to complete.

Each chapter took fans through a complex user journey. For Chapter 2, we hosted a stream on Twitch and YouTube featuring a live parrot saying cryptic words. Three of the words "Turkey.Goat.Lives" pointed hunters towards The Cutty Sark when put into what3words. Using Google Maps the Street View of the real world location showed a 360 image featuring life-sized turkey and goat models plus a signboard with a PigPen code that revealed a bitly link. This link took you to a hidden One Drive folder hosting a mysterious parchment with a bespoke Cuneiform code that could be cracked using the in-game track "We Shall Sail Together" to give you the phrase "Xbox Wire Marks the Spot". By trawling back through the Xbox Wire newsfeed you'd find an article that had been live all this time. Zooming in on one of the images fans found a five pixel wide blue X, the hex value (#2FACED) was the solution you needed to enter on the website to start your in-game voyage.

Watch below for a recap of all the clues from Chapter 1 and 2, or read a recap of the full Mystery.

The Hoarder's Hunt: Recap

Our creative teams produced the majority of the imagery for the puzzles, from parchments with riddles to bespoke illustrations that hid secrets in the scene.

The first person to solve the Mystery (in and out of game), won the grand prize of a 24 carat gold-plated replica of the Gold Hoarder’s skull, valued at £28,000. We worked with suppliers and used the game’s maya files to 3D print the skull, which was then cast in metal, gold-plated, and presented in a bespoke treasure chest.

We also worked with a series of artistic influencers including Banana Bruiser, Andhika Pudjiadi and Hungry | Johannes J. Jaruraak, to create unique physical and digital art to support the campaign, some of which had clues hidden within. Our influencer content received 302,780 impressions and 67,981 total engagements across Instagram, TikTok and Twitter.

Over 108,500 people visited the Sea of Thieves website to participate in the game. We had an overwhelming response from fans, with key creators organically jumping onto Twitch livestreams to collaborate with the gaming community to try and solve the puzzles as they went live. Fans were working together, compiling walkthroughs, posting their theories across Reddit and Twitter and organically setting up Discord channels across multiple servers to dissect the clues.

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