No Man’s Sky was always going to struggle under the weight of expectation. The hype surrounding it grew out of control as Hello Games founder Sean Murray embellished the game’s features in pre-release interviews, causing the disappointment of the final product to feel even worse.
But during a recent appearance on Live with YouTube Gaming, Sony Interactive Entertainment executive VP and COO, Shawn Layden, explained that Hello Games continues to work on the title as it attempts to bring NMS closer to the team’s original vision.
"They're still working on it," Layden said. "They're still updating it. They're trying to get it closer to what their vision was. And perhaps over time, it’ll reveal itself to be all that it can be […] you just don't get all the way there at the first go."
The Sony exec added that the company didn’t want to stifle developers' creativity by forcing them down a specific path.
No-one in development wants to say that they can’t do a thing, right? No-one wants to tell someone no, I can’t do that for you. People really try. Looking at different industries I’ve had the privilege of working in, the games industry is where everyone has the courage to say yes. They want to try and realize their ambition; they want to try and make that vision.
Following a long period of almost total silence, Hello Games’ Twitter account sent out a post in late October stating: “No Man’s Sky was a mistake.” It turned out to be a hack, but it was a sentiment many gamers agree with.
Murray has talked about DLC for NMS that will introduce new elements, perhaps bringing it closer to the game people expected. He originally said the downloadable content would be free, but later admitted this was “perhaps naïve.”
While introducing base-building and giant space freighters will no doubt bring more activities to No Man's Sky, it’s unlikely to be enough to satisfy the majority of people who bought the game. A massive overhaul and the introduction of multiplayer may be Hello's Games best way of saving NMS.
Back in September, No Man’s Sky was recording fewer than 1000 concurrent players on Steam. Hello Games would need to pull something special out of the bag for player numbers to return to those of launch week.
You can see the full YouTube Gaming interview with Shawn Layden in the video below.