No Man’s Sky, one of this year’s most anticipated PS4 games, has been the source of numerous controversy since its release in August. The first few days were plagued with bugs and other issues, even after a huge day-one patch, and eventually a huge number of players began complaining that the game didn’t match up with how it had been marketed, and that promised features were missing altogether. Now Shuhei Yoshida, Sony’s Worldwide Studios president, has addressed the issue, saying he understands players’ frustrations.
In an interview with Eurogamer at Tokyo Game Show, Yoshida maintained a positive overall outlook on No Man’s Sky, saying that he really enjoyed the game and that Sony is very pleased with how successful it’s been, but he also openly admitted that he understood why players felt it under-delivered and that noted that there should have been a better PR strategy.
“I understand some of the criticisms especially [creator/director] Sean Murray is getting, because he sounded like he was promising more features in the game from day one.
It wasn’t a great PR strategy, because he didn’t have a PR person helping him, and in the end he is an indie developer. But he says their plan is to continue to develop No Man’s Sky features and such, and I’m looking forward to continuing to play the game.”
There is no doubt that Murray and his studio, Hello Games, are an indie developer. But one of the missing features that many players are upset about is the lack of their characters being to interact, or at least see each other, on different planets — something Murray specifically talked about in interviews.
As No Man’s Sky slowly turned into one of the biggest indie game releases in years, it’s certainly understandable how Murray could’ve gotten overwhelmed with all the attention his game was getting and not having help from a PR professional when talking about features and content. And to be fair, as Sony was the game’s publisher, they are partially to blame for the huge marketing campaign, which contributed to players’ high expectations.
However, there’s no arguing that Murray over-promised and under-delivered with No Man’s Sky, and what’s really upsetting is that he nor Hello Games as a whole have yet to explain or apologize for how different the game out, essentially remaining silent to both media and players.