No Man’s Sky had one of the swiftest falls from grace in recent memory, as the euphoria in the lead-up to launch day turned to disappointment at the lack of promised features, and anger at developer Hello Games.
To be fair, if all you want out of a game is to get high as fuck and look at bright colours for a couple of hours, then No Man’s Sky might have been great, but to everyone else, it was a lesson in why you should not trust pre-release hype.
The developer’s Twitter account, and that of creator Sean Murray, have been mostly quiet since the game’s launch, offering only little bits of information about patches and updates, but that changed overnight, when Hello Games tweeted:
Various sources, including Mashable and Forbes, emailed the studio for comment, and received an email in response, saying that the Tweet was “not a hack, but rather a disgruntled employee.”
Gaming blog Kotaku also received an email from an official No Man’s Sky address, signed by someone claiming to be Murray, apologising for “what we did not deliver on” in terms of the product. It read:
No Man’s Sky was a mistake.
I have contacted you because the silence from Hello Games has been unwarranted and unprofessional. The community has asked me to speak up, and I have a confession to make. The game was simply unfinished upon arrival. Our hand was forced by not only Sony, but the community as well. The constant harassment and absolute gross misconduct on the community’s part has made it hard to fulfil our artistic vision, while the pressure from Sony to release the game as soon as possible forced us to cut key features. I want to apologise for what we did not deliver on, as the game does not meet up to what our artistic vision was.
However, we do wish that the community was more understanding of our situation. Many people have asked for refunds despite our promise to continually improve and update No Man’s Sky. We are just a small studio that has poured our blood, sweat, and tears into this project. The complete lack of respect when it comes to the work we have done absolutely saddens not only myself, but the team as well. We want to improve the game to the point we dreamed of it being and beyond.
I hope everyone affected understands,
The information received by Kotaku appeared to contradict certain elements messages that were sent to other media organisations, and by the early hours of this morning, it was pretty clear that Hello Games’ accounts were compromised.
As of a few hours ago, the studio appeared to be in control of their shit once again, tweeting that they are “100% not hacked anymore”, and placing blame for the breach on Sean Murray’s LinkedIn account.
.@NoMansSky 100% not hacked anymore… obviously those mails and that tweet were fake. Back to work ????????????
— Hello Games (@hellogames) October 28, 2016
But then, that’s just the kind of thing a hacker would say … We may never know for sure.
What we do know is that No Man’s Sky is still under investigation by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority, over claims that elements of its marketing campaign were misleading to consumers.
Photo: No Man’s Sky / Kotaku.