Hello Games on how they dealt with the aftermath of No Man’s Sky
Being a game developer can definitely be scary…
Be sure to read the full interview conducted by Keza MacDonald over at The Guardian.
It’s no doubt when No Man’s Sky released back in August of 2016 it stirred up quite the controversy. Many features were lacking at launch, there was dead silence from both Hello Games and Sean Murray on all fronts for months, but in this recent interview conducted by Keza MacDonald, Games Editor at The Guardian. I think everyone can understand a little bit more about what happened behind the scenes at Hello Games. This is the first time Murray has talked to any kind of press in almost two years and I can of course understand why.
The lead up to launch was a tough one for Sean Murray and his team. After talking to such a large variety of the news outlets, both mainstream and industry alike, you can imagine it’s not an easy feat to undertake. In the interview at The Guardian, Murray had this to say regarding No Man’s Sky launch aftermath and how the internet reacted to it:
“The internet is really good at knowing when somebody has made a mistake. It’s not necessarily the best at determining the most appropriate response, but it’s really good at knowing when somebody has messed something up. We definitely messed up a whole bunch of communication. I’ve never liked talking to the press. I didn’t enjoy it when I had to do it, and when I did it, I was naive and overly excited about my game. There are a lot of things around launch that I regret, or that I would do differently.”
However, it wasn’t the press who attacked Murray and his team when No Man’s Sky launched and it wasn’t the game that players expected. It received relatively moderate reviews, but didn’t set the world on fire, however that fire was saved for something else. The weeks and months moving ahead was a tough time for both Murray and his team. Having various death threats, bomb threats and general harassment of employees who worked at Hello Games which were made on a terrifying level. In the interview at The Guardian, Murray had this to say regarding the harassment:
“There’s a smorgasbord of things that the angry mob can do. It is a crowdsourced thing of how bad you can make someone’s life. I remember getting a death threat about the fact that there were butterflies in our original trailer, and you could see them as you walked past them, but there weren’t any butterflies in the launch game. I remember thinking to myself: ‘Maybe when you’re sending a death threat about butterflies in a game, you might be the bad guy.’”
This didn’t cause Sean Murray and Hello Games to give up though. In the last two years since launch they have released three major content updates; The Foundation Update, Path Finder Update and Atlas Rises Update. Now you can build a base, drive around in a variety of vehicles and discover more of the intricacies and stories of the Atlas. This isn’t the end of course, rather just the beginning. The No Man’s Sky NEXT update which will be debuting on Xbox One on the 24th of July and everywhere else on the same day is the biggest update Hello Games has released yet. The likes of which include improvements to the base building system, the ability to command freighters and upgrade frigates and of course the long awaited arrival of up to three friends in multiplayer with even more features I haven’t mentioned.
All in all, No Man’s Sky is the surprising game which is making a comeback. The game everyone thought would be dead in the water and the likes of which we would never see again. But due to the dedication, hard work and determination of Sean Murray and his team, they are getting their title back on track, whether it is for the people who have played it and stuck with it since launch or hopefully newcomers or returning players who want to give it another shot.