When the annual Game Developer's Choice Awards were held in San Francisco this week, the No Man's Sky's developer team, who's been weathering an internet storm of ill will since the game's release, didn't show up to receive the award they won. Why? They simply never dreamed the result would go their way.
Which resulted in a semi-awkward escapade where host Tim Schafer had to accept the Innovation Award on #NoMansSkys's developer team's behalf, congratulating them without them actually being present.
Will We Win? Nah, Let's Go Eat
So where was the developer team when they won one of the most prestigious awards in the world of video games? Well, they were out eating dinner of course, discussing why they'd definitely not win.
As Hello Games' code lead Innes McKendrick explained on Twitter shortly after the awkward event in the Moscone Convention Center:
Not the smartest move, but apparently the developer team was certain they would have been told if anyone planned to give them a reward that night. Aren't these things supposed to come as a surprise to people? Guess not.
After they discovered their victory, Hello Games' team hurried to the convention center, and even though they were a little too late to make up for the no-show earlier in the evening, they got the opportunity to take a smiley-victory selfie.
No Wonder They Were Discouraged
In all honesty though, it's understandable that the developer team didn't expect No Man's Sky to win and were discouraged to go to an award show as observers. Especially when you take into account how the game was received by both the masses and critics upon release.
No Man's Sky took one of the most thorough beatings in recent video game memory, mostly because expectations were unimaginably high. In the weeks leading up to the release, it seemed everyone had forgotten that Hello Games is actually a pretty small company and probably not able to reinvent video game technology all on their own, even though they might have said so in moments of megalomania.
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We're glad they got the award. They deserved it, because No Man's Sky is actually really innovative in a lot of ways. From the initially goalless, Sisyphus-like gameplay to the way the game's sandbox engine puts together different planets.
Do you think the award was deserved?