No Man's Skhyped

Be an independent developer is a life choice, and is definetely not easy. Freedom of creativity often collides with tight budgets.

Ambitious projects, ideas and dreams are ingredients to create a developer that can be in the spotlight for his/her game. What happened to Shane Murray's No Man's Sky is incredible in terms of social media interaction.

Discussing a game on interviews, presentation and trailers often leads to missing content by the final game, with maybe some extra features. No Man's Sky is an independent project that has been treated as a triple A game. Sony felt the game potential, what it could have promised and decided to support it.

No Man’s Sky is an independent project that has been treated as a triple A game.

Surely it seemed a great thing, a big company helping a small studio to promote its game, but what came after that was what sentenced No Man's Sky to its destiny. Sean Murray had numerous interviews, where he talked about games' details that could be in development or under consideration, but weren't in the final game.

Sony pumped the game's marketing with presentations, trailers, coverage and money to the developers, with one last touch: a full retail release. The videogame industry, despite saying otherwise, has two main categories: 60€/$ games and digital/budget games.

Those prices defines expectations, budget, consideration and possible backlashes. No Man's Sky should have been a simple game, with a great algorithm and great possibilities, sold . Its release should have been under the radar, so that it could have been discovered by indie enthusiast, meanwhile the team could have implemented features, bugfixes and make the game better month after month.

After 6-12 months the game would have been known as a little pearl, with a sane community behind it. What really happened was a big rush on displaying features, world, expectations, while Sony raised the bar on the game that couldn't handle the weight, while Hello Games told everybody what the game could do, while it couldn't do that sort of things.

The result was that a massive amount of players felt betrayed and too many players got into the game too early. On top of that delays didn't help.

No Man's Sky, in conclusion, is an example of how a hyped makerting campaign can destroy a game and decide its fate.