No Man’s Sky changed the video game hype train forever

Love it or hate it, No Man’s Sky was the most important, influential video game of 2016.

I’m not talking about the rights and wrongs of developer Sean Murray’s pre-release interviews, or the state of the space game at launch. Enough has been said on both those topics already. I’m talking about the fallout, and what it means for video games in 2017 and beyond.

What’s clear is some players felt misled by Hello Games. . Some got one from Valve. Whatever your feeling on it, No Man’s Sky caused one hell of a shitstorm. But this wasn’t a by the numbers video game shitstorm. This one – and the industry noticed.

Hello Games breaks silence, announces Foundation update for No Man’s Sky

Hello Games has broken its long silence following the launch of No Man’s Sky to confirm details of the game’s first major content update, which will add a base-building element.

The patch will be called the , to reflect both its construction element and the fact that it is “putting in place a foundation for things to come.” The studio didn’t confirm the full patch notes or when the patch would be released, other that it would be “soon”, but the fact it’s even prepared to confirm its existence is significant after a long and controversial period of silence. The game attracted fierce criticism for not living up to the expectations set by the pre-release marketing, which Sony publishing boss Shu Yoshida later admitted was “”.

The Foundation Update announcement does point out that the game has received seven patches since it released, but the community has long demanded more significant changes, citing pre-release interviews with Hello Games head Sean Murray that referred to features,. Player complaints prompted the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority to , and Steam . Both Murray and Hello remained largely silent throughout, until today’s announcement.

Looking back at Spore in a post-No Man’s Sky world

In the weeks leading up to No Man’s Sky’s release, when the hype train was speeding heedlessly toward the collapsed bridge of reality, the gaming community’s collective neuroses coalesced beneath the ragged banner of another game – Spore. “Will No Man’s Sky end up being the next Spore?” fretted Forbes, while Quora quavered “Will No Man’s Sky become another Spore?”

It wasn’t just the latest batch of hot-takers who wound themselves into a tizzy either. NeoGaf needled that “No Man’s Sky could end up being the “Spore” of this generation”, while suspicious Steam forumites asked “Anyone skeptical of this game because of Spore?” Heck, even the developers of No Man’s Sky addressed the comparisons to Spore way back in the prehistoric era of 2014. “I actually liked it, and enjoyed it” said Sean Murray during an interview with Game Informer, “But I was kind of one of the few people. I know that I was.”

Poor Spore! The way people speak of it nowadays, you’d think it was a rogue copy of Duke Nukem Forever that had gone around the houses bludgeoning everyone’s nanna. The slightest mention of Will Wright’s white elephant seems to make the Internet angrier than a thousand Mass Effect 3 endings. I find this a little tragic, because there are few games in existence with better intentions than Spore. Whatever else you may think of it, there’s no denying that it made a genuine effort to find the joy in Life, where so many others only derive pleasure from death.

Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida on No Man’s Sky

Shuhei Yoshida, the popular president of Sony’s Worldwide Studios, has said he understands why some fans were critical of controversial space survival sim No Man’s Sky – and blamed Hello Games’ pre-release PR strategy for building up unrealistic expectations.

Disgruntled gamers complained about the absence of features and functionality in the final release that development chief Sean Murray had previously referred to in interviews and previews, ranging from to the complexity of its combat and trading systems.

Speaking to Eurogamer at the Tokyo Game Show, Shuhei Yoshida said: “I had the opportunity to play the game right before launch – and I restarted playing the game on launch day with the Day One patch – so I could see the struggle for the developers to get the game out in the state that they wanted.”

No Man’s Sky is a fine example of one type of game (but many people were expecting another)

I’m writing this a couple of days after the release of No Man’s Sky. The incandescent vapour of Internet opinion is coalescing around a cooling core of critical consensus. I imagine that by the time you read this there will have been magmatic eruptions of violent dissent, an orbit of backlash and counter-backlash. The world’s telescopes will have been trained on Sean Murray as he explains in defiant, melancholy interviews and blog posts why No Man’s Sky is only exactly what everyone knew it would be: the world’s most ambitious, expensive and beautiful walking simulator. Except you fly, of course. I’ll come back to that.

So let me start out by saying I am not here to be mean about No Man’s Sky. I spent a relaxed evening with it, I’ll spend a few more, I don’t regret the fifty quid I spent, I’m enormously impressed that such a small team pulled this off and my heart aches for them seeing five years of effort summarised as a 70 on Metacritic. Although I imagine it will bounce up a few points eventually, because this:

…which was always going to make August a difficult month for the devs.

No Man’s Sky and the problem of expectation

I’m writing this a couple of days after the release of No Man’s Sky. The incandescent vapour of Internet opinion is coalescing around a cooling core of critical consensus. I imagine that by the time you read this there will have been magmatic eruptions of violent dissent, an orbit of backlash and counter-backlash. The world’s telescopes will have been trained on Sean Murray as he explains in defiant, melancholy interviews and blog posts why No Man’s Sky is only exactly what everyone knew it would be: the world’s most ambitious, expensive and beautiful walking simulator. Except you fly, of course. I’ll come back to that.

So let me start out by saying I am not here to be mean about No Man’s Sky. I spent a relaxed evening with it, I’ll spend a few more, I don’t regret the fifty quid I spent, I’m enormously impressed that such a small team pulled this off and my heart aches for them seeing five years of effort summarised as a 70 on Metacritic. Although I imagine it will bounce up a few points eventually, because this:

…which was always going to make August a difficult month for the devs.

No Man’s Sky’s first post-launch patch is out now

No Man’s Sky launched to on both PS4 and Steam. Crashes were common on both platforms and many PC users experienced optimisation issues that brought the framerate to a crawl. But now the game has a patch on both platforms that should alleviate many of these issues.

While Hello Games has yet to release its official patch notes, creative lead Sean Murray said on that the “PC build adds support for more hardware + improves frame rate at low spec. PS4 improves stability + lots more.”

Hello Games released some on Tuesday that explained what the update’s beta changed. So that should cover a lot of what’s fixed here, though the specifics of the PS4 patch remain a mystery.

No Man’s Sky has an enormous day one patch that adds multiple endings

No Man’s Sky developer Hello Games has detailed an enormous day one patch with far-reaching changes for the game.

Your progress through the procedurally-generated universe of No Man’s Sky will now follow one of three set paths. Each will have a “significant impact on what you see later in the game”, Hello Games boss Sean Murray has said, and the game’s story has been rewritten to allow for multiple endings.

There’s also now a far higher chance of player “collision”, as you can scan for areas visited by other players and drop by.

No Man’s Sky leaker claims to have reached the centre of the galaxy already

No Man’s Sky – perhaps the most anticipated game of 2016 – isn’t out until next week. But one player with a copy of the game has claimed to have reached the centre of the galaxy already.

THERE MAY BE SPOILERS AHEAD.

According to the official website, No Man’s Sky is a game about “exploration and survival in an infinite procedurally generated galaxy”. But chief developer Sean Murray has indicated that reaching the centre of the galaxy is No Man’s Sky’s de facto objective.

No Man’s Sky studio settles “secret, stupid” three-year Sky lawsuit

No Man’s Sky developer Hello Games has revealed a three-year long lawsuit brought by broadcasting giant Sky.

The legal dispute, over the use of ‘Sky’ in the game’s name, has only come to light now it has been concluded.

“We finally settled with Sky (they own the word ‘Sky’),” Hello Games boss Sean Murray revealed on over the weekend.