No Man’s Sky was supposed to be one of the most exciting game releases of 2016 – what went wrong?
We’ve already written about the complaints made against No Man’s Sky, the indie space exploration game from Guildford, England, which was picked up by Sony and given dubious AAA backing.
Promoted as a massively explorable collective universe, lead developer Sean Murray suggested that players could – despite the improbability – run into each other as they explored the vastness of 18 quintillion worlds. But within days of release, players learned that no-such multiplayer mode existed. In addition, the worlds being discovered were incredibly bland – a world away from the promotional video on Steam – and the gameplay itself was incredibly limited.
Customers demanded refunds in the thousands, and within weeks less than 1,000 players were active on the shared server that linked their individual space exploration. But a fate worse than obscurity awaited No Man’s Sky.
Following a slough of complaints, the British Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) commissioned a team to investigate the game and its developers – and could feasibly demand that any promotional material they deem to be ‘misleading’ be scrubbed from the Internet.
This drama even seeped over to Reddit, where the No Man’s Sky subreddit was temporarily shut down amid the bickering, arguing and in-fighting within its threads. Although the subreddit is now back open, its clear people are still very heated about the game.
But there is still hope. Youtuber Geoff Keighley spoke with Sean Murray, and learned that an update for the game is due in October. How much extra functionality will be added remains to be seen – but it’s clear that the development team is still invested in improving No Man’s Sky; and maybe one day it will become the game it was promised to be.