What left is there to say about #NoMansSky? The game was all we could talk about for a hot minute, with anxious gamers lathering it in frenzied praise for deigning to take us somewhere few games have gone before. When it did finally come out, it quickly became the poster child for what happens when we allow marketing and hype to freely gestate under our skin.
And with No Man's Sky still being such a sore subject, the beleaguered devs at Hello Games are still being harangued by the shadow of their survive-in-space simulator. If it's not dodgy tweets being posted on their Twitter feed by hackers or callus reviews, Sony Interactive Entertainment is attempting to distance themselves from the fire whilst maintaining their air of indie underdog petter.
This time it was Sony Interactive Entertainment America President Shawn Layden's turn to discuss No Man's Sky and put a brave face on a situation that is undoubtedly the fault of multiple sources, not just Hello Games alone.
In conversation with Live with YouTube Gaming, Layden was upbeat regarding the future of No Man's Sky's space-travel and whether we'll all be taking part in, or returning to, the sky in the months to come.
“Hello Games, Sean Murray and his team, had an incredible vision of what they were going to create. It was something that had never been done before. A very small team had a very huge ambition. They’re still working on it. They’re still updating it. They’re working on getting it closer to what their vision was. And perhaps over time, it’ll reveal itself to be all that it can be.”
See, upbeat. But where Layden was unapologetic regarding how good an idea No Man's Sky was on paper and how SIE try not to impede developers' creative impulses too heavily, he did hint to Hello Games maybe taking on a little bit more than they could handle.
“The games industry is where everybody has the courage to say yes. They want to try to realize their ambition. They want to try to make that vision. No one slinks away from a huge challenge. And sometimes you just don’t get all the way there the first go.”
Aim for the moon and you may lay amongst the stars. We've all heard that one before but it doesn't excuse the fact that Sony maybe should have told Sean Murray and Hello Games to dial down the hype going into the final phase of No Man's Sky's marketing.
I guess what we should take from this is that despite the deafening silence of Hello Games, the devs are still solidly ticking away in the background, rolling out update after patch for their magnum opus; mainly bug fixes and performance tweaks here and there. But there is scope for even bigger updates in the near future, as highlighted by this post over on Hello Games' blog.
“What matters now, as always, is what we do rather than what we say. We’re developers, and our focus is first on resolving any issues people have with the game as it is, then on future free updates which will improve, expand and build on the No Man’s Sky universe."
So eventually, after some time, No Man's Sky may turn out to look a little similar to the end product Hello Games had in mind. And may finally have a few of the things we were promised in the first place, like large scale space battles, differing craft classes, the ability to hack locked doors and listen to chatter on the radio. Those are just a handful I'd love.
All in all, though burned, I still love the idea of No Man's Sky, and I really hope it does end up resembling the game we all fell head over heels for. Or maybe I should stop wishing upon stars.
What do you think? Are you even still playing No Man's Sky?