Sean Murray says he is still proud of the original game Hello Games created back in 2016.
No Man’s Sky was met with almost a vitriolic backlash of criticism and disappointment upon launch, but Sean Murray and his team at Hello Games didn’t lie down and discouraged in any way. For two years, they’ve been releasing one update for the game after another, slowly adding new features and improving upon existing flaws to bring it closer to the expectations people originally had for it, and NEXT, the upcoming major update to the game, is the next step in that road.
Recently, No Man’s Sky creator Sean Murray ended his long-drawn media silence to finally talk not just about NEXT itself, but also about the controversy surrounding the original No Man’s Sky a couple years ago. Interestingly, he mentioned how Hello Games probably talked about the game “way earlier” than they should have, but while speaking with Eurogamer, he also spoke about how the team at Hello Games has been working on improving the game ever since its launch.
“If we’d have waited to have launched until now…” Murray mused. “I was going through the feedback on all the updates we’ve done. The major features are things we’ve always wanted to add. But a lot of the stuff is coming from the community. We’re listening to them – not in a touchy-feely way, in a pure stats way. How do we solve this problem they’re having – that’s our methodology, and has been since launch. That’s our way of focussing ourselves and deciding what to do.”
That said, Murray also went on to re-iterate that he is still proud of the game Hello Games originally launched back in 2016, and that in several aspects, it did exactly what he had envisioned it would do. “The thing I’d say is that at launch we were this weird game where you could be lonely, it was very science fiction,” he said. “But to me, I am so proud of that game. So proud of the team. They managed to pull it off, and it really did hit the notes that we wanted to hit. On an emotional level, it hit those emotions. The people who did get – when we’re reading those reviews from people like Time, The Guardian – Eurogamer!- it was hitting the notes that we’d set out five years ago to do. When we announced, and first showed it at VGX. The thing that people thought – a game where you could have a whole universe and land on a planet and it’ll have trees and rocks and creatures, that’s impossible. Everyone was like ‘it’s vapourware’. But that’s what we delivered, we delivered on that.”
No Man’s Sky NEXT, though, is expanding upon that original vision in several ways, by adding things such as improved visuals, full-featured multiplayer, base-building, and much, much more. Murray claims that even though it is indeed going to do that, it’s going to do so while still remaining true to his original vision for the game. “But you could see how you can expand it, and it can still be true to that,” he said. “When you see a group of four playing, it still feels sci-fi, it still feels lonely because there’s this whole planet and you’re this tiny little dot. It’s still space, it’s still the frontier. The vision hasn’t changed – it’s just gotten bigger and deeper. I was super happy with the way we delivered on that vision at the start. But there was bags of potential that you could see. You looked at it and thought okay you could play this for 20-30 hours, then you’ll move on to the next thing. And you’re like ‘this could be so much more!’ So I understand why people saw it and thought ‘this’d be amazing with multiplayer! Why haven’t they done that!”
No Man’s Sky NEXT will be rolling out on July 24, and those who already have the game on the PS4 or PC will be able to download it for free. Meanwhile, the base game will be making its Xbox One debut on the same date, and will be launching with the NEXT update already included.