Case Study

Setting sail with the Sea of Thieves: How Xbox gamified its Japan launch on Twitter

Key Results


in brand mentions mOm

higher engagement rate compared to benchmark


To celebrate the localised launch of its action-filled game Sea of Thieves in Japan, @Xbox_JP brought the adventure to Twitter -- creating a new experience for fans that aligned gaming with traditional Japanese culture. @Xbox_JP chose Twitter’s extensive and engaged gaming audience to amplify awareness and interaction with a creative campaign that put fans at the heart of the action. 


Capitalising on the popularity of  fan art and the powerful potential for gamified experiences to make an impact among gaming audiences, @Xbox_JP created a sweet spot with its Sea of Thieves campaign.

Tapping into Japan’s rich art culture @Xbox_JP commissioned four prominent Japanese illustrators to reimagine creatures from the game in their own unique style. Twitter’s gaming fans were challenged to set sail and find each creature in a personalised adventure game.

Spurred on by Tweet Scenario Threads and the promise of free fan merchandise, fans were delving deeper into the realm of Sea of Thieves ahead of the launch.

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Understanding the audience

@Xbox_JP provided the ultimate hook for its Twitter audience - with fan art being the most shared asset among the gaming community and gamification tapping into their passion points.



Getting creative

@Xbox_JP worked with Twitter @ArtHouse and prominent Japanese illustrators to recreate characters from the game in their own style, with a local flavour.



Tailoring experiences

@Xbox_JP reeled the audience in with Tweet Scenario Threads, creating unique interactive experiences to engage audiences.

The Success

The campaign launched with a captivated gaming audience. Tweets during the campaign achieved 87% higher engagement rates compared to the industry benchmark. Overall, the campaign garnered more than 37 million Twitter impressions. That’s not to mention the artwork that now keeps the adventure alive on

Creating unique experiences that lean into culture in new and inventive ways has been a key driver to our growth in Japan. Partnering with Twitter Arthouse and local artists gave us an opportunity to bring Sea of Thieves to life in a whole new way for one of gaming’s most passionate audiences.

Craig Harkness, Xbox Marketing Lead - Asia Microsoft

Solutions Used

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