There always seems to be one big scandal or another in gaming, and this time it’s around No Man’s Sky. The game came out on 10th August on PS4 and the 12th on PC, and the gaming community is highly divided on what they think of it. Half of them are delighted with the game they received, a procedurally generated space exploration game. The other half are furious as they didn’t get the game they felt they were promised.
The upset comes from promises made by the game’s creators at Hello Games, especially those made by the game’s director Sean Murray. While the game was in development, many promises were made about the gameplay we could expect from No Man’s Sky. We were told that players could interact with each other in space, the solar systems don’t operate realistically, and you can’t play the whole game as a trader. These are just a fraction of the things gamers felt they were promised.
It’s true that there’s a whole raft of features that never showed up in the game. Upon buying the game, the gamers who bought it on the back of these promises somewhat justifiably felt lied to. A Reddit thread was created, detailing the missing features and asking Hello Games for a response. As of time of writing, there hasn’t been a direct response from the developer on this, furthering the upset within the gaming community.
On one hand, it’s easy to see why people are calling these gamers ‘entitled’. No one owes them the game they were expected, and it seems unreasonable to demand answers as to why they didn’t get what they wanted. On the other hand, Players bought the game on the back of the hype that was developed around it, directly from the developers themselves. It’s not hard to imagine that gamers would take that at face value.
It’s not as simple as blaming Hello Games for building this hype, either. Yes, they shouldn’t have talked about details that weren’t fully locked down into the game. It’s clear that doing so is a recipe for disaster. However, now they can’t win. They’ve clearly built a good, solid game, but it’s not the one gamers wanted. Their reluctance to comment now is understandable. Whatever they say, they’ll be dismissed and fallen upon by angry internet commenters and trolls. They won’t be able to win.
There are several lessons to learn here. One is not to boast about features that you’re not sure will make it into the game yet. Another is not to fall for the hype, even if it’s coming from the developers themselves. Finally, maybe we shouldn’t feel as though we’re entitled to a certain game, when it’s not even certain that it can be made at all.