Everybody loves a redemption arc.
When it was first announced, No Man’s Sky had gamers very excited to see what was in store.
As the release date grew nearer, the promises and hype piled up.
The pre-orders rolled in.
And so did the first impressions…
While many people loved it, others quickly noticed that a lot of the promised features didn’t really live up to what they were expecting, and other things were flat out missing from the game.
Some people snapped up refunds, others just quietly uninstalled.
While a hardcare fanbase kept playing and loving the game, player counts dropped, and at certain points you could have considered this game as dead in the water.
But the team behind it didn’t give up.
Now, with No Man’s Sky Next, a huuuge patch that just dropped, players are falling in love with a game that is hitting all of the notes they were expecting from the get-go.
Sure, it was late, and people who paid full price might be feeling kind of slighted now that you can pick it up on sale for half price (usually you pay less to support ‘early access’, and late adopters pay full price), but at the end of the day – you really don’t see a turn-around this drastic very often.
Granted, there’s still some criticism to be had, as Boogie2988 points out… Should we be rewarding them for essentially releasing an early access game as a full retail title when the game wasn’t ready?
Game developers who over promise and under deliver is not a new phenomenon.
I don’t even think it’s a malicious thing the vast majority of the time, I don’t think that 99% of them are trying to scam anybody.
They buy into their own hype, and they talk about features before they should, and it’s got to be the worst feeling when you realize you won’t be able to deliver what you’ve promised.
When you’ve been eating, sleeping, and breathing your upcoming game for years, it’s easy to get a little carried away. Success can be overwhelming, there are a million different fires to put out especially at such a huge scale launch and with such a tiny team like they had at Hello Games.
A lot of games end up in early access hell. A fresh dev gets a huge stack of cash in early sales, and the games kind of get put on the backburner, or they turn their attention to the next title.
There’s a lot of money to be made in coming up with cool ideas and getting people hyped about them, but with the models we see today where devs can get paid for games that aren’t finished yet, the incentive to take it past that finish line can be greatly diminished, especially when sales have slowed down and you’ve already got the cash in your hand. That just makes No Man’s Sky Next all the more impressive.
The team at Hello Games believed in their game, they believed in themselves, they believed in their fans… and after a rocky launch, they could have disappeared with a pretty penny in their pockets but they persisted.
Quietly working, they kept their heads down until they were ready to release something special, and the reactions have been amazing:
From industry veterans to casual fans, everyone is finding something to love about No Man’s Sky. Here’s the complete list of new features on the official site.
I saved a freighter from a bunch of pirates and the captain of the freighter was basically all “fuck it, you run this ship now, I have no idea what I’m doing!” No Man’s Sky has some pretty cool moments.
— Jeff Gerstmann (@jeffgerstmann) July 28, 2018
Sean Murray of Hello Games has shown composure and leadership, and the team has shown not just great talent, but incredible persistence.
It makes us very excited to see what they’ll be putting out in the future. We’re sure they’ve gained a ton of incredible experience from this, and we’re positive that fans feel the same eager anticipation for the future of Hello Games.
So, with all of that said, I’m putting it on the table that this is THE redemption story in gaming. I can’t think of another pendulum swing that was this wide, and with such high stakes.
Hello Games took a chance on a unique title, and had every opportunity in the world to throw in the towel when things got tough, but instead they pulled off something truly remarkable.