Sean Murray, who founded Hello Games and created No Man’s Sky, has opened up about the difficult launch of that spacefaring exploration game. Back in 2016, Murray and his cohorts opted to maintain radio silence throughout the game’s much-criticized launch. The fact that Murray has kept silent in the past makes his present-day comments particularly noteworthy.
“We went about two years without talking to press at all,” Murray said at the Develop conference in Brighton, as GamesRadar reports. “And we went about three months without saying anything to the community either. That was really hard.”
Murray continued: “I sat down so many times and wrote the perfect blog post that was going to explain everything about the game’s development, and the road map going ahead. But I could see that it didn’t hold credibility with regards to where we were at.”
Since the launch of No Man’s Sky, gamers have seen other companies, including EA with Anthem and Bethesda with Fallout 76, reacting far more vocally to their troubled launches. Murray went on to talk about this.
“There have been a number of games that have since come out, had a polarizing launch, and that explosive mix of loads of people playing it but also problems. And I can see EA, Microsoft, or Bethesda try to placate players by just talking to them, but for right or wrong, it just doesn’t really work. You see this all the time when a big publisher will talk to the community and try to solve the problem and then get embroiled, taking up more and more of its headspace.”
Murray makes some interesting points here, and it’s certainly true that subsequent updates to No Man’s Sky have helped veer the game towards something more in line with players’ desires. Would this have been possible if Hello Games had spent more time talking and less time fixing? It’s impossible to know for sure, but at least we now know the reasons behind that radio silence.