To say that No Man’s Sky has endured a trying time in the months after launch may read as something of an understatement – amid criticisms levelled against Sony’s PR strategy for the title and the radio silence emanating from Hello Games, it was confirmed earlier in the week that the studio and Lead Designer Sean Murray are now under investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). And it doesn’t end there.
Upon hosting the premiere of Live with YouTube Gaming yesterday evening, industry veteran Geoff Keighley touched base on the hullabaloo, claiming that No Man’s Sky is “unfinished and repetitive” purely because “math can’t always create meaning.” A series of complex algorithms are part of the game’s foundation, allowing for the creation of procedurally generated content across the board – be it trees, flora, fauna, and even entire planets.
However, Keighley does begin by recognizing the achievement of Hello Games, stating: “I honestly resisted saying anything about this game for the better part of the last year because I’ve been internally conflicted about what I saw happening, and I’ve played a role in this.”
“The fact that a small 15 person team built and shipped a game like No Man’s Sky is a stunning achievement…but on the other hand I have to think about the players who wanted to believe in something more than what was in the box when the game shipped in August.”
What the host is referring to is those accusations that Hello Games’ pre-release promises and the actual content included in the finished product don’t align – hence the investigation from the ASA – though it’s really the game’s dependency on maths that has lead to a “repetitive” end product. That’s according to Keighley, at least.
“I don’t think No Man’s Sky is a bad game. It’s just unfinished and repetitive because let’s face it, games are crafted by skilled story-tellers and big teams. Math can’t always create meaning.”
No Man’s Sky touched down for PS4 and PC back in August and, upon reflection, can teach everyone a thing or two about managing expectations.