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Newfoundland fishermen featured in Xbox Canada series celebrating new game launch

Conway Caines of Port Saunders is seen carrying bunch of bananas during the filming of an Xbox Canada series celebrating the launch of the new game Sea of Thieves.
Conway Caines of Port Saunders is seen carrying bunch of bananas during the filming of an Xbox Canada series celebrating the launch of the new game Sea of Thieves. - Submitted

What happens when you pit a crew of Newfoundland fishermen against a crew of Xbox gamers is something the world will find out when an online content series launches next week.

Three of those fishermen — Rick Crane of Cox’s Cove and father and son Rick and Conway Caines of Port Saunders — are no strangers to the public after having appeared on the Discovery Channel’s “Cold Water Cowboys.”

Christina Verdurmen, Xbox Canada’s senior marking manager, said the series was created to celebrate the launch of Xbox’s new game “Sea of Thieves.”

The pirate-themed, shared-world adventure game is exclusive to Xbox and Windows10.

Verdurmen describes it as a “you and your crew against the world” game that is about camaraderie and working together. It was a tagline of “be more pirate.”

“And so, we wanted to see who was more pirate, the Newfoundland fishermen or our crew of gamers,” said Verdurmen.

They also wanted it to be something truly and authentically Canadian.

“I mean what is more Canadian than Newfoundland and fishing, and the high seas,” she said.

As for three local fishermen, the production crew found them through their work on “Cold Water Cowboys.” They were joined on their crew by Ed Newman of Paradise.

Verdurmen said they were the perfect fit for what Xbox wanted to do.

“We just really loved the energy and passion of all four of our fishermen and what they brought to the crew.

“And they were all just so charming, but they were also not afraid to bend the rules a little, just like true pirates.”

The crew of gamers featured some of Xbox’s biggest fans who game on YouTube or Twitch. They are described as being passionate about gaming and not afraid to laugh.

The four-episode series shot recently in St. John’s is about engaging people.

“We really want to create experiences that bring the game to life.”

She said the challenges designed for the series were inspired by the game.

“And then we created real world equivalents using the beautiful Newfoundland landscape as our backdrop.”

There were times when the two crews were competing against each other, but also some where a great camaraderie came through where they were helping each other out.

Verdurmen wouldn’t give much away about the episodes and laughed when she said: “you’ll have to watch and see.”

It’s was the first time Verdurmen has done anything for Xbox in the province, but she said a lot of fans have been wanting them to do something here. The experience, she said, was amazing, from the landscape to the smiling faces and helping hands.

“We had a great time.”

The first episode of the series will be launched on March 21 and will be followed by a new one each Thursday until April 12.

The can be viewed by following @XboxCanada on all its social channels — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

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