In this article today I want to talk about No Man’s Sky, Hello Games, and my first thoughts before release, at release and after release.
Let’s boot up our flux capacitors and go back to 2014 when Sony formally announced that Hello Games was working on the upcoming No Man’s Sky. Despite the game being announced in 2013, the game didn’t gain Sony as a publisher till later. I can remember everyone hyping up No Man’s Sky and lets be honest, the PR and marketing for the game didn’t go so well. Sadly in my opinion, I think they lumped it onto Sean Murray and he perhaps didn’t have the experience needed in a situation like this. As videos were revealed of this expansive procedurally generated Universe the hype train was reaching very unrealistic heights, I’m guilty of this, I was excited. With promises of meeting new interesting alien life in every Planet you’d visit, epic space battles with a faction based system, giant space worms and much more. More and more promises were made as time went on, nothing felt off. Some journalists questioned could it be that good but most of us just wanted to explore the Universe and we wanted to right now.
Fast forward to August just before release leaks started to get out despite review copies not being provided before release. On the Reddit page a few lucky members got access and filmed their gameplay. People started questioning where most of the promised things were, others shrugged it off and said “well let’s wait for a day one patch first”. The day one patch didn’t give us what was promised.
No Man’s Sky released to a vastly disappointed majority of gamers. Sadly a lot of the features that were promised were missing and the game was buggy and lacked content. Personally I still enjoyed what we got, I loved it, I still got to explore these fantastic planets and met some crazy looking aliens along the way. It wasn’t what was promised but I believed it was impressive. A majority of gamers didn’t have the same feelings as I did. People were angry and upset, that’s understandable, they waited for years, hyped it up and didn’t get what was promised but then a minority few started taking it to far.
Hello Games suffered so much abuse, abuse they didn’t deserve, sometimes games don’t pan out the way we want. Sometimes we place the wrong person onto the wrong job or someone that was supposed to do certain aspects of the marketing didn’t. Personally I don’t understand why they got Sean Murray to do all of the promotion, marketing and everything else instead of sending their own professional PR people into the position of promotion and marketing. Developers got death threats, to the point that they had to hire security due to the threatening behaviour. Since when did it become acceptable to threaten someone in an industry just because a product didn’t turn out the way they wanted? Understandably, Hello Games went quiet, the odd patch came out now and then but all went silent.
Promises weren’t delivered, Hello Games were treated awfully, a handful of people loved the game and a majority didn’t. Who really was to blame? Personally I believe Sony didn’t do there job very well. I felt that Sean Murray and the team had a vision, they wanted to do it, they wanted to add what was promised but delays and a office flood put Hello Games behind, which gained public outrage when really people should have been more understanding. Though I believe behind the scenes perhaps Sony wanted it out sooner rather than later.
After the Silence, Hello Games had emerged, I was surprised they were still working on the game after the abuse they suffered. November 2016 saw the base building update which added a lot to the game and it was completely free, this was the start of No Man’s Sky and Hello Games redemption within gamers eyes. As time went on other updates were released and after each update they would go silent again. We received the vehicle update that let us drive around on planets which added new game-play to the experience. PC players received modding tools to customise the game to there liking and later the game released on Xbox with new publisher 505 Games. Almost a year passes and suddenly Sean Murray again emerges on Twitter and announced No Man’s Sky NEXT, the true game changing update.
No Man’s Sky NEXT Virtually changed the game into something better than what was promised before release. A fully working multiplayer in which you could explore the Universe with friends or strangers and come across unique and amazing structures that had been created. New systems to make the game less of a grind, better graphics, quest modes, a story mode. It felt like almost a sequel but one that was absolutely incredible. Hello Games despite going through hell strive to provide the original experience they promised but ended up doing more. I believe that Hello Games could be considered an inspirational company because despite everything, they delivered and they truly do deserve the recognition they now receive.
Just last week it was announced that 3 major updates will arrive in the Summer of 2019, completely changing the online component as we know it. The other two major updates are being kept quiet for now.
Sean Murray, Hello Games, they’ve been through hell with No Man’s Sky. Despite it being released to negativity there were some of us who stuck with it through-out. Each update brought more and more players back, people realised that No Man’s Sky was changing into more than what was promised. How Hello Games managed to keep up the strength to keep going into work and finish this project is beyond my knowledge or understanding. I feel like that much hate would make me want to hide in a cave, but Hello Games were inspirational and really turned everything around.