Is Hello Games Dying? (creators of No Mans Sky)
Some Intresting tweets came out the @ twitter this morning. First a tweet appeared that said no mans sky was a mistake,
It would be logical to think that perhaps their twitter had been hacked right? Well perhaps in response to the hacking or perhaps out of fear, the account went private
Forbes is now reporting that they have verified that the tweet that was sent, was indeed from No Mans Sky staff but that “I [Erik Kain] reached out to the developer and asked them whether it was a hack. A representative of Hello Games replied, telling me that a “disgruntled employee” had made the tweet and that they were “currently trying to sort out the issue.” but that “Someone from the team took it down” So at this point your guess is as good as mine. Kotaku also reported that it was indeed Sean Murry who made the tweet, but that seems to have been debunked at least in official sources.
Sean Murray also appears to have responded
Server hacked. We’re binging Mr Robot Episodes as quickly as we can looking for answers. Ep05 is a cracker
— Sean Murray (@NoMansSky) October 28, 2016
To understand whats happening at Hello Games you need two bases of reference. The first is to know that Hello Games, despite producing one of this years most anticipated AAA games, is a studio of just 16 people. The second is that, that game, No Mans Sky, currently has an overwhelmingly negative steam review average, and has taken more hate than the blacks for trump guy. Lets start at the beginning.
The Start of Something Great
No mans sky’s studio began in 2008, when Sean Murray, and Grant Duncan, both former game developers, decided to start something they controlled instead of taking orders from others. From this was born the vision of No Mans Sky, an exploration survuval and crafting game that was to be like minecraft in space and so much more. With a nearly endless number of worlds and flura and fauna created in a way so no two planets were ever the same. No mans sky itself was not with out its fair share of problems, initially it was to be published by an american developer (probably Microsoft) but in early 2010 talks broke down with that publisher and Murray decided to take the indie route.
After publishing two successful games Joe Danger and Joe Danger 2, Murray assembled a team of 4 in secret to begin development of No Mans Sky. In 2013 the game was shown at the VGX awards the hype train started rolling. After VGX a major flood at their offices in England almost killed Hello Games, but Sony came to the rescue, offering money in exchange for publishing rights on the PS4. Murray turned down the money, and instead only asked that Sony help market the game and show it at its E3 keynote in 2014. At the 2014 Keynote this video was shown
The internet exploded. The game looked like a cross between Jurassic Park, Minecraft, and Elite Dangerous. All of the games players would play in the same universe at the same time like Eve online, and would be able to meet interact and trade. The game world would be populated with factions of NPC’s and you would be able to play with one faction or another. Huge space battles and massive ships that clashed over head while you either participated or ran away. The audience went crazy.
But the problems started even then. Originally scheduled to be a PlayStation timed exclusive for early 2015, during that same year’s E3 Sean Murray announced it would also be coming to steam at the same time. This was likely the first red flag. Or rather the first major red flag. Murray continued to show new features after E3 2015 claiming that the game would allow for players to meet up, would be almost endlessly expansive and would keep all players discoveries “forever”. Also during 2015 E3 while speaking with The Guardian Murray said that he did not have a release date in mind yet and that, “unlike more traditional games, where completion of the fixed number of levels and other assets can be treated as an assembly line and schedules projected from that, the interconnectivity of all the various systems within No Man’s Sky requires them all to be working together to make the game successful, and would only feel comfortable on assigning a release date once that is completed”
Well the day finally did come, on august 12 2016, just over a year after speaking at E3 about not having a hard release date, and after two last minute delays, No Mans Sky finally released. The game released to overall good review scores, netting several better than average scores in its first days. But like many games who get a good review to start off with, No Mans Sky just had no legs. IGN would eventually change their review to mediocre 6/10, Game Spot a 7/10, and Kotaku refused to even score it. The game felt feature incomplete and as of this writing its steam review score looks like this
So, its no surprise that prior to today, both the offical Hello Games twitter, and Sean Murray have been quiet in the face of great criticism. This has led some people to speculate that the studio is dead, that they have all moved on with their lives, or that indeed Sean Murray doesnt care about his fans, his game, or anything except the pile of money he earned from this game. If your intrested in some numbers estimates Reddit user xx00xx00xx has done some interesting work on the subject.
So you said Dying, are they or are they not?
Well what I said was clickbait, duhhhh. But no, probably not, I think with the amount of money that No Mans Sky made, and with the size of their team, we can expect Hello Games to linger on for quite a while longer. Since I started writing this story its been confirmed that that tweet was sent by a disgruntled employee and that it was sent from LinkedIn and that Sean Murray was not responsible for it.