Since the release of No Man’s Sky in August of 2016, the game has been surrounded with controversy. The game and it’s developer, Hello Games, have been struggling to get back in good graces since it was revealed that No Man’s Sky was missing promised features, specifically multiplayer.
But what affect will the aftermath of No Man’s Sky will have on gaming? One wonders if the reaction to the game was an isolated incident. It could have been the straw that finally broke the backs of gamers who have been wanting the games that developers promised them for years.
Truth in Advertising
We’re all familiar with the complaints. The graphics aren’t as good as the trailer, or the game released wasn’t like what had been shown at a conference. This time it’s a specific claim from Sean Murray, founder of Hello Games, that No Man’s Sky would be a multiplayer game. This was something he said so many times, Crave Online has formulated a list. Hello Games was even investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for false advertising.
There has been a fan response to the mistrust that has developed between Hello Games and its fans. While some demanded refunds and others took to Twitter and Reddit to voice their complaints, still others have decided to be more proactive.
A new subreddit has been created titled Games Watchdog. This small group has taken it upon themselves to hold game developers accountable. After years of developers putting on amazing presentations at E3 or Comic Con, then presenting the public with a slightly different/less cool looking game upon release, some gamers have had enough.
This subreddit pledges to create a positive community. Games Watchdog is where any false advertising can be discussed, letting game developers know someone is paying attention. In one post, subreddit creator, BigPimp92, said:
In the current climate of game development, I think we need a place to talk about this stuff. There is a severe lack of accountability amongst game developers and we need to start working to make it better for ourselves, and ultimately to create a better gaming community.
While groups like Games Watchdog are doing what they can to avoid anything like No Man’s Sky in the future, will Hello Games be around to see that future? It’s been three months since anyone has heard from the Hello Games and Sean Murray. It’s like they’re waiting for the controversy to blow over.
Moving into the Future
The problem is, gamers have pretty long memories. No Man’s Sky fans who feel burnt by the game would probably appreciate an apology. The gaming world is so different to that of movies or television. There’s a much closer relationship between the gaming community and the developers.
Hello Games’ decision to hide its head will only damage the company’s reputation further. They need to try to repair their relationship with fans. This is especially important after a blog post was found regarding game updates, which was considered insulting by some fans.
Other developers have hopefully learned from the lesson so harshly learned by Hello Games and Sean Murray: don’t promise what you can’t deliver. If you can’t deliver, be up front about it. After all, fans are what will keep the company and game alive.
It’s unknown whether Hello Games and Sean Murray will step forward and apologize for what happened. Only then they can start to work toward rebuilding their relationship with their fans.