No Man’s Sky was criticised for a lot of things. It was overhyped, and didn’t even slightly deliver on the promise of a near-infinite universe of possibility.
One thing I think most of us can agree on however, is that if No Man’s Sky weren’t released as a full-price AAA title, we would all have been much more forgiving of its shortcomings.
Many assumed that the reason Hello Games space exploration sim cost the standard £50 (or $60) is because it was being published by Sony, and that it was the decision of the publisher, not the developer.
However, new reports seem to suggest that developer Hello Games were the ones who decided on the hefty price-tag for what ended up being a pretty disappointing product.
This comes from videogame journalist Geoff Keighley, who recently discussed No Man’s Sky during the first episode of his new show Live with YouTube Gaming, which I’ll leave just below for you.
Keighley – who actually hosted the VGX Awards in 2013 where No Man’s Sky was first unveiled – has been busy discussing what the game could have been and where it went wrong.
He revealed that he’d met lead developer Sean Murray multiple times throughout the game’s development, with Murray finally avoiding Keighley towards the end of development, as he believed the journalist was being ‘too negative’ about the game.
Keighley explained that he disagreed with Hello Games charging so much for the game, which would lead one to assume that it was – at least to an extent – their call.
I disagreed with them charging $60 and putting it in a box. I think what they should’ve done was put it out as an Early Access game and let people play it and build over time with the team and the community. We all wanted to believe in No Man’s Sky and Sean did, too, so much so that he was never able to build up the gumption to rip off that Band-Aid and reveal what was and wasn’t in the game.
As it transpires, Hello Games did indeed handle the brunt of publishing duties on No Man’s Sky, while Sony aided in distribution.
It should be noted that Keighley’s comments alone aren’t enough to suggest that it was only Hello Games who wanted to charge full price, as there were likely multiple factors.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.