No Man’s Sky has come out to mixed reviews on the PS4, and some downright terrible ones on the PC. Most detractors claim Sean Murray – Founder of Hello Games and Creator or NMS – over promised and under delivered. That it’s an extremely shallow survival/collection game on planets that are too similar to each other, populated with creatures that look way too randomly generated. Players were promised an infinite galaxy with plenty to do and many feel they received a shoddily built tech demo that should have been tacked on to a bigger and better game.
But with months of hype and backing from Sony, not to mention the imaginations of anticipating gamers, there was zero chance NMS could please everyone.
Imagine if it had come out with zero hype. If it just appeared on the PSN store one day. Perhaps a trailer or two in the month leading up showing very little. Simply showing a ship cruising through space and landing on a planet in real time. Show a bit of the planet and end the trailer before any questions are answered. Don’t explain the tech, don’t promise the moon (or infinite moons), just tease us and leave us be.
Gamers would start discovering this game and it might have spread like wildfire. This mysterious and magical game could have exploded over message boards as gamers worked together to figure out this strange new Sci-Fi. Players love mystery and discovery. We play a game for the interactive entertainment and working a game out for ourselves can be a majority of the fun.
With too much spelled out and too much time to snowball, this could have only been a PR disaster. There are several articles written already about NMS bringing negative attention to Sony’s ‘no refund’ policy. But with this bad press, does come stellar sales figures, as the controversial game has topped numerous sales charts and even set a sales record for new Sony IP launch.
Huge sales means Hello Games and Sean Murray can continue making games the way they want to. But have they sacrificed too much and lost the trust of gamers?