Even though No Man's Sky has returned to grace the headlines in positive light with the latest expansion called Next, Hello Game's head honcho Sean Murray insists that the game was never the sort of flop that the press made it out to be.
The gaming's world response to the launch of No Man's Sky was quite a violent one, with people reacting very passionately in both extremes. "You know what the internet can do", Murray said and added how they ended up having to deal with the Metropolitan Police and Scotland Yard.
Players were angry over what they perceived as a hoax, compounded by the fact that No Man's Sky launched without multiplayer, which many saw as integral to the game. Murray thinks that talking about the game too early was a dreadful mistake, since many players latched onto their own idea of multiplayer, rather than the evolution that the dev had in mind.
"In play-testing it was of almost no value to the player - it was just a cool thing, a cool moment that some people would have, and we talked about it with the press that there's this cool thing that would maybe make a story sometime", Murray said. The fact was, it was never that important, even if Next ends up proving them wrong.
The whole saga was eventually overblown by the press, making it seem as if No Man's Sky has flopped financially and in terms of players, which Murray says is the only hoax here. Valve and Sony have apparently been in contact with the company, saying that "people are playing this game for a phenomenally long amount of time."
Interestingly, even though it would make one hell of a story saying Hello Games stuck through thick and thin with a non-existent playerbase, it's once again result of a skewered public perception. In fact, Murray insists that No Man's Sky has never done as badly, neither in terms of players nor refund rates, contrary to what the press sugested. "You give me too much credit by saying we stuck with the game out of altruism", he said.
Ultimately, Murray maintains that No Man's Sky and Hello Games are still a huge success, all things considered. The game in his mind "really did hit the notes that [they] wanted to hit", both on the emotional and gaming level. And there's no way to go but up.
You can find Sean Murray's full interview with Eurogamer here.