Space… The final frontier; and that means even on your game consoles, folks! With over a quintillion star systems to explore and catalogue, No Man’s Sky has definitely achieved the record for longest overall playtime in the history of gaming. Heralded and hyped for almost two years before its release, No Man’s Sky flew onto, and quickly off of, store shelves promising an entire universe for sci-fi gaming fans to enjoy. This exploration, combat, mining, and essentially space slice-of-life game allows players to mix elements to create fuel for their spacecrafts, battle sentinels in the forests of back water planets, and fly through thousands of different galaxies in some pretty awesome ships.
No Man’s Sky is the brainchild of Sean Murray and had been in development for just over three years by a small team of a dozen developers at Hello Games before its release this year. In No Man’s Sky the player takes the role of The Traveler beginning near a crashed spacecraft on a random planet in the procedurally generated universe. From there, after repairing the ship, the player can traverse the universe using their exosuit and multitool to mine resources and defend against hostile alien creatures and other non-friendly entities. All the while the player is being guided to the center of the universe by a mysterious force known as the Atlas.
At its core No Man’s Sky is a game of exploration and the incredibly beautiful planets filled with extraordinary flora and fauna give you some pretty incredible sights to behold as you’re making your way through the universe. Based on the optimism of classic science fiction writers No Man’s Sky comes through in providing the player with all the action, visuals, and style of classic authors of the genre such as Asimov, Clarke, and Heinlein. However, many players have been less than satisfied with the game’s overall performance and have said that Hello Games made promises during development that they didn’t deliver.
In my opinion though, No Man’s Sky not only delivered, and continues to develop on those concepts through updates and bug fixes, but is possibly the greatest Science Fiction video game released in modern history. With so many games featuring variations of the same old concepts, No Man’s Sky dares to provide an experience fresh and innovative that I feel may be far ahead of their time for many gamers stuck in the same old rut. Regardless, No Man’s Sky is a game that can be enjoyed for hours on end without seeing something you’ve already seen previously during play and is certainly not a game to be slept on. For more information, news, and play throughs, visit No Man’s Sky’s official website at www.no-mans-sky.com
No Man’s Sky has seen a lot of backlash in the last couple of weeks due to features not being included in the game upon launch. The space exploration game’s Steam page is rife with negative reviews already as people share their bad experiences with No Man’s Sky. The controversy led a recent rumor Steam, Amazon, and Sony respectively offering refunds for the game. The reality is each respective company is offering refunds, but they are not unconditional as previously rumored.
What’s Really Going On with the Refunds?
Consumers who have purchased No Man’s Sky may have experienced several in-game technical issues upon purchase. While a few patches have been released since the game’s launch, with promises of more content down the line, gamers are still grumbling about the game’s $60 price tag. These technical issues have led to consumers requesting refunds, but there is a catch before one can be issued.
One of the first requirements is consumers who have been experiencing in-game issues may request a refund. Gamers have to go through several troubleshooting options with a customer service representative to fix these issues with the game. When the issues cannot be resolved, their case is passed on to the investigation team at PlayStation. The team will then make the decision whether the case justifies a full refund or pass it over.
Amazon has not released any criteria for issuing refunds for the game, but they are offering a case by case basis. This is good news for consumers who purchased the game through Amazon who may have a chance to receive a full refund for the sub-par space exploration game.
Steam has caught quite a bit of attention in terms of issuing refunds for No Man’s Sky. Steam has a very strict refund policy for their company. Their policy is the game must be purchased within in the last fourteen days with only two hours or less of playtime. They even posted an orange box on the purchase page of No Man’s Sky stating the following:
“The standard Steam refund policy applies to No Man’s Sky. There are no special exemptions available. Click here for more detail on the Steam refund policy.”
Consumers looking for a refund for the game should contact customer support for the respective company they purchased the game from.
No Man’s Sky is turning out to be no one’s preferred science-fiction game. Despite debuting with a massive amount of hype, No Man’s Sky is shaping up to be a major flop. So disastrous is this game’s debut turning out to be, refunds are being offered at retail locations. Likely, this is being done so the company releasing the game – Hello Games – does not suffer brand fallout. That is, the good name of Hello Games may be retained while No Man’s Sky gets the brunt of the negativity.
And there is a lot of negativity being directed towards the sci-fi actioner that promised a lot, but delivered zero. At the center of the disappointment is the game’s inability to truly create a “procedurally generated universe”. Essentially, the game claimed each and every unique world and environment would be different. The game experience was intended to unravel in a mysterious and unexpected way. Gamers report the environments were pretty much all the same leading to a dull and boring (non)adventure.
Even worse, the game was loaded with defects, bugs, and other problems. Needless to say, all these woes hurt the game’s publicity. Bugs are not uncommon. Even the major game developers have to deal with them. Beta versions are released to smooth out such problems. Had bugs alone been the main problem for No Man’s Sky, all may have been forgiven. Falling to deliver on the super-hype surrounding this brave new game turned out to be unforgiveable.
Hello Games is not a giant in the industry. The company is an independent developer trying to carve out a niche in the huge, mega-billion dollar gaming world. The company may have promised too much as a means of trying to grab as much attention as possible. There is nothing wrong with this approach provided the end result does what is promised. In this case, the game did not.
Is Hello Games capable of bouncing back after such a disaster? The answer depends on how much damage No Man’s Sky creates for the brand. The next follow-up game the company releases has to do well. Otherwise, Hello Games could end up having an enormously difficult time getting back into the good graces of consumers.
No Man’s Sky has gone from being one of the most hyped up games of the year to one of the most disappointing. The space exploration game was released with quite a bit of fanfare, but already gamers have started to see the many jarring flaws the game has to offer.
No Man’s Sky did deliver on its promise to give players a nearly unlimited amount of planets to explore, 18 quintillion to be exact, but many features have been left out of the game. This has caused the player base to fall drastically in the last few days, many of which are seeking refunds for the game.
According to statistics posted by a reddit user named /u/Skoonk, the player base for No Man’s Sky has dropped from 157,000 players to a mere 10,000 over a course of ten days since the game has been released. Gamers can’t be expected to stick with one-game forever, but such a steep nosedive in its player base could be the death toll for No Man’s Sky.
The drop in player base shouldn’t come as a surprise considering the controversy and false advertising attached to the game. Sean Murray himself has come under fire for outright lying to gamers about promised features not included in the game like multi-player. During the game’s second week on the market, sales have dropped by 81%.
The active players for No Man’s Sky can also be attributed to the number of crashes the game suffers when it comes to its PC incarnation. These crashes also exist on the console version of the game but appear to occur less frequently. The stability issues for the game has moved many gamers to seek refunds for the game. Further contributing to the negative reputation the game has been steadily gaining ever since its release.
Much of the controversy stems from the outright lies and promised features completely taken out of the game when No Man’s Sky was first released. One example is how the gameplay is vastly different than depicted in the early trailers. This has caused Hello Games to come under fire and is one of the main reasons players are now actively seeking refunds for such a sub-par product.
It’s absolutely mind blowing to think that the most anticipated game of 2016 is being made by the same developers who, just 4 years ago, were releasing Joe Danger 2: The Movie into the world. Hello Games has gone from a small indie studio releasing enjoyable, yet ultimately forgettable games, to a small indie studio that has the entire gaming world waiting with bated breath for their space epic No Man’s Sky.
Ever since its debut in late 2013, No Man’s Sky has been on the minds of gamers around the world. Hello Games promised a limitless universe of procedurally generated worlds, and dazzled everyone with an art style that actually made it seem like you could play the game for a decade and not get sick of the look. And then, chaos ensued. The game was delayed several times, causing so-called “fans” to actually threaten the life of director Sean Murray. Early copies of the game started leaking out, and people who would normally revel in spoiling it for others actually decided to embargo themselves!
No matter how good No Man’s Sky ends up being, it won’t please everyone. Those who are expecting to make it the last game they’ll ever purchase will make their displeasure heard online. And on the flip side, reviewers who fail to give it a perfect score will be singled out and bullied for their opinions. There is just no pleasing everyone when it comes to a game offering you the world.
As summer approaches, anticipation mounts for Hello Games’ galaxy exploring adventure, No Man’s Sky. Unfortunately, that anticipation will continue to mount for just over an additional month.
Since its announcement at 2013’s VGX awards show, No Man’s Sky has appeared to be a monumental undertaking, particularly for a team as small as Hello Games. As studio head Sean Murray puts it, “The universe of No Man’s Sky is incredibly vast. More than you can imagine.” Creating such a universe is seldom attempted by studios that employ hundreds of people, let alone by Hello Games’ staff of fifteen.
Murray promises that development is going well. In the years long scale of this project’s development, an additional month does not appear to be cause for concern. Regardless, eager fans who were hoping to spend July charting the stars will have to wait.
Should fans wait, Murray and his studio promise an entire galaxy, eighteen quintillion planets, for players to discover, name and explore. Each planet will be unique, with different ecosystems and wildlife. Everything about the universe of No Man’s Sky is derived from a combination of art and mathematic algorithms that determine where things will be, what they will look like, and how they will interact.
Speaking about the challenges faced creating an entire galaxy, Murray says, “This is a type of game that hasn’t been attempted before, by a smaller team than anyone would expect, under an intense amount of expectation.”
As intense as the expectation may be, Murray’s enthusiasm and everything he’s shown of No Man’s Sky suggest he and his team have earned the eagerness of their audience.