No Man's Sky failure leads Game Awards to promise "deeper" reveals this year

No Man's Sky, at least in terms of the gap between expectation and reality, is one of the bigger videogame controversies to come along in recent years. But in spite of its failings, it is having some unexpected influence on the industry at large. Valve recently tightened up its rules regarding screenshots on Steam, for one thing, which was widely interpreted as at least in part a reaction to the outcry over "bullshots." Now Geoff Keighley has told Polygon that he played a role in the hype around No Man's Sky, and promised that reveals at this year's Game Awards show will go "deeper" because of it. 

"I have thought about the story of No Man's Sky a lot. Did we create this black hole of hype that the developers couldn't pull themselves out of? Some of that was authored by me," Keighley said. "There is a good moral of that story and it's part of what I'm trying to address this year; to have developers be more transparent about the state of their game." 

Keighley said he agrees that No Man's Sky fell short of its lofty goals, but also suggested that it was an inevitable outcome because gamers had "an idealized notion" of how the game would turn out pretty much from the moment it was first announced. "I knew the team and it was eight guys," he said. "The vision was never going to be achieved." 

As a result, new game reveals at this year's show will take a longer look at each new game that's announced, rather than just blasting through a 30-second cinematic teaser. "I think people will be surprised at the depth of some of the game content we will show this year," he said. 

The 2016 Game Awards will take place on December 1, and will be streamed live on Twitch, YouTube, Steam, and other fine moving-picture platforms. Full details are up at

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.