Recap: Has there ever been a gaming story quite like No Man’s Sky? After it faced ridicule and disappointment following its launch in 2016, the space exploration sim was slowly updated and eventually became the title that was promised. Now, fans are thanking developer Hello Games for its work by buying a billboard near its offices.
With pre-release trailers showing a procedurally generated universe containing 18 quintillion planets, large-scale space battles, and more, anticipation surrounding its release was so high that Hello Games’ boss Sean Murray received death threats when the game was delayed by two months in 2016.
Also read: The Unexpected Success of No Man's Sky
While No Man’s Sky was popular upon launch, that soon changed when people discovered it didn’t live up to its pre-release videos and lacked elements such a multiplayer. The numerous bugs didn’t help, either. The negative response led to calls for refunds and complaints about misleading ads, and saw Steam banning Bullshots from its listings. By late September, its number of concurrent Steam users had dropped from 212,604 to fewer than 1,000 in just over a month.
While some developers might have given up at this point, Murray and Hello Games continued to work on updates that brought No Man’s Sky closer to the game many were expecting. The new features and graphical overhauls worked, and by July 2018 NMS had climbed into Steam’s top 10, reaching 90,651 concurrent players and with its rating moving from Mixed to Very Positive.
As a way of saying thanks for their hard work, organizer Cam G and the r/NoMansSkyTheGame community started a GoFundMe campaign to raise $1,750 to buy a billboard near Hello Games’ office in Guildford, UK. It’s already at $3,010 after just one day.
Cam G says he’s open to changing the design of the board, which will be shown for two weeks from 12 August.
our community has bought the billboard outside our office to say Thank You— Sean Murray (@NoMansSky) June 13, 2019
Oh. My. God.https://t.co/oGTjFI4WWG
"Billboards are booked months even up to years in advance, we were lucky enough to be offered a 2 week campaign within a 2 minute drive of the Hello Games office in Guildford, UK," he wrote. "The closest available time slot was a 2 week period from 12 Aug 2019," he wrote.
The money will also go toward buying lunch and a case of beer for the Hello Games team. As for the rest of the cash, Cam G says he plans to use it to start a "charity drive" that will buy games and donate them to disadvantaged and sick children.