No Man’s Sky
Is No Man’s Sky’s launch backlash still relevant to the game?
ight now there are two No Man’s Skys. One is the game you can currently play and which has just stepped into the realms of true multiplayer via its Next update. The other is the game it was at launch which, in some corners of the internet, is preserved in aspic along with its attendant controversies and outrage. To give a brief overview if you’ve managed to avoid it thus far: At launch and in the weeks immediately following, players and spectators needed to reconcile what the game was with what they had expected. For some people this was simple—they got what they thought they would get, and either enjoyed it or didn’t. Those that did enjoy it went on to pour astonishing numbers of hours into the game. For others, the gap was harder to bridge, as hype-drunk expectations crashed into slightly clunkylooking proc gen wildlife.
The latter almost immediately devolved into a question of “Who had lied and when?” resulting in a frightening harassment campaign against the studio and its staff involving death threats and necessitating the involvement of the Metropolitan Police and Scotland Yard. I should stress that not all disappointed players went to these extremes—some asked for refunds, or queried the game’s advertizing, or just complained in the normal way.
The specter of No Man’s Sky’s fraught launch threatens to dominate conversations about the game even two years on. In that period, the game has had four massive free updates which significantly change the philosophy of the