There’s never really been a pushback like this in the history of gaming. No Man’s Sky, an open-universe exploration sim that most of the gaming community was frothing over, has gone from indie darling with the backing of Sony, to one of the most reviled properties in the industry. We played it, we liked it (some of us more than others), but developer Hello Games and their long list of unfulfilled promises have left gamers with a sour taste in their mouth.
People feel duped, misled and lied to about No Man’s Sky. The original trailer and multiple interviews from Hello Games head honcho Sean Murry promised and confirmed multiple features that were missing from the final release. This, as well as debilitating bugs and constant crashes on the PC platform (and less so on the PS4), have led to this — a lot of gamers saying “goodbye” to Hello Games.
According to PC Invasion, concurrent Steam users on No Man’s Sky went from 220,000 at launch, to 15,000 as of last week. Sure, players may have blasted through the 30 hours (or so) of game NMS has to offer, thus they’ve moved on to Deus Ex or whatever has caught their interest, but that’s the exact problem. No Man’s Sky was supposed to be infinitely replayable. It was supposed to be a universe you wanted to live in, not escape from.
And so, in an unprecedented move, Amazon, Steam and Sony are giving full refunds to gamers regardless of how much time they have logged on the game. Typically, Steam will only grant a refund if you have less than two hours logged on a game, with Amazon and Sony being far less forgiving. Is this an admittance that the marketing, and Murry, misled consumers?
Not to everyone. Multiple game industry vets shared their thoughts on Twitter. Vets such as Shahid Kamal Ahmad specifically, who secured the rights to bring No Man’s Sky to Sony. He likened players who logged fifty hours on the game and asked for a refund to thieves.