After four years of development and numerous setbacks, No Man’s Sky is finally arriving this week. But even as the release date quickly approaches, there are still major changes being made to the space exploration title.
Over the last few days we’ve learned that the PC version has been put back, the servers are being wiped, and there will be a day-one patch so big that it’s almost an entire overhaul of the game.
No Man’s Sky was set to release simultaneously on PlayStation 4 and PC in North America tomorrow (August 9), but Hello Games founder Sean Murray confirmed on Friday that the PC version would instead be released globally on August 12. “It’s so important we get it right and make the best version we can,” he said on Twitter.
Murray believes a global release will be the best option for PC players, rather than the game arriving in different locations on different dates. "We think a global release is best for everyone on PC. Retail forces us to be staggered on PS4," he explained.
No Man’s Sky was originally due to be released on June 21, but Murray said some “key moments needed extra polish,” resulting in it being delayed until early August. The news angered some people to the point where they inundated Murray and Kotaku reporter Jason Schreier with death threats.
Despite the game not yet being available, some fans have managed to get their hands on it - thanks to certain retailers selling the game earlier than they should and a few copies appearing on eBay.
As Hello Games wants No Man's Sky to arrive in an unexplored state for everyone, the developer wiped the servers on Sunday, meaning those who accessed the game early won’t see their discoveries in the official release version. Programer Harry Denholm posted on Twitter that save games would not be affected, “just discovery online storage.”
Servers are being wiped on Sunday pic.twitter.com/JTmzabmU1R— Harry Denholm (@HarryDenholm) August 5, 2016
Like many new games, No Man’s Sky is getting a day-one patch. While the exact size of it hasn’t been revealed, we know it makes substantial changes to the game. You can see the full list of everything contained in the patch here.
The update alters almost every aspect of No Man’s Sky, the biggest change being the introduction of three “paths” to follow through the game. These will impact what you see later, depending on your early choices.
Combat, trading, discovering other players, the universe as a whole, the writing, inventory size, pretty much everything has been altered. It’s why Hello Games held back review copies until today – the studio wants media outlets to play the fully patched version of the game.
If you are reviewing/playing our game without our update, on a leaked copy, then please don't. It's not what players will experience.— Sean Murray (@NoMansSky) August 6, 2016
Murray says Hello Games already has plans for future updates. The next one will add “giant space freighters” and graphical improvements such as temporal anti-aliasing and cloud rendering.