Would No Man’s Sky have been better received if the hype hadn’t been quite so sky high? A lot of people, including our own Dan Seitz, liked the game, but it was hard not to be disappointed after so much was promised. The fact that some hinted-at features, like the ability to meet up with other players, aren’t in the game at all is particularly vexing.
Well, it turns out Shuhei Yoshida, president of Sony’s worldwide game studios, feels our pain. While Yoshida says he enjoys playing No Man’s Sky, he had some harsher words for the game’s promotion…
“I understand some of the criticisms especially [No Man’s Sky director] Sean Murray is getting, because he sounded like he was promising more features in the game from day one. It wasn’t a great PR strategy, because he didn’t have a PR person helping him, and in the end he is an indie developer. But he says their plan is to continue to develop No Man’s Sky features and such, and I’m looking forward to continuing to play the game.”
While it’s nice to see Yoshida admit there were some No Man’s Sky messaging problems, it’s kind of crummy of him to put all the blame on Sean Murray. Yes, technically, Murray’s Hello Games was in charge of publishing the digital version of No Man’s Sky, but clearly Sony was supporting the game in a big way. The hype would not have reached anywhere near the same level if this was strictly an indie game. Also, if Yoshida didn’t like Murray’s PR strategy, why didn’t Sony step in to help him out? Either there was some behind-the-scenes drama, or Yoshida is just being a bit disingenuous.
No Man’s Sky quickly sold millions of copies, but the number of people actively playing the game dropped by over 90 percent only weeks after launch. Whether Hello Games can dig themselves out of their PR hole with future updates remains to be seen.