The No Man's Sky fan-funded billboard is up

(Image credit: u/Tony-Towers on Reddit)

Here's a nice update to a story we published back in June (which you can read in full below). A crowdfunding effort by No Man's Sky fans to buy a billboard thanking Hello Games for its hard work has come to fruition.

The billboard is officially up, not far from the Hello Games studio in Guildford. Pretty spectacular timing, too, since No Man's Sky Beyond arrived this week and we've all been riding alien creatures and trying to impress alien food critics.

The larger-than-average 'thank you' did not go unnoticed by Hello Games. Sean Murray stopped by today on his way home from work to grab a snap.

Due to the positive response to the crowdfunding campaign, the organizer raised the amount from $1,750 to $6,000, and as promised, the surplus money was used to buy games for kids at the Children's Hospital at Westmead.

Original Story: 

It's been a heck of a journey for No Man's Sky: From massive hype to major letdown, consumer complaints, feelings of abandonment, weird ARGs, big promises, more hype, and a slow, relentless effort to build the game into something resembling its early promise. It's actually pretty close to that mark now, and the No Man's Sky fanbase is doing something pretty cool to express its gratitude to Hello Games for sticking with it. 

The billboard isn't actually up yet, and the design seen in the image is a mock-up created by GoFundMe organizer Cam G, who said they're open to changing it to ensure everyone who backs the campaign is happy. But the campaign is live now because the billboard has to be locked down well in advance of when it's actually posted.

"Billboards are booked months even up to years in advance, we were lucky enough to be offered a 2 week campaign within a 2 minute drive of the Hello Games office in Guildford, UK," they explained. "The closest available time slot was a 2 week period from 12 Aug 2019."

A portion of the funds will also go toward buying a case of beer and lunch for Hello Games, which is a nice touch. But I don't think Cam anticipated just how much cash he'd have to divert to non-billboard purposes: After less than 24 hours, the campaign has already raised far more than its $1750 goal. With that surplus likely to grow significantly, he announced plans to launch a "charity drive" to help bring games to sick children. 

"I thought if we have already achieved this in half of a day imagine what we could do to help kids who really need the joy, escape, and most importantly the beautiful shared experiences that you get in playing and simply talking to others who will listen," they wrote.

"I just want to say thanks to everyone who donated, all excess funds will be going toward giving games to sick kids. I'm really excited to share my vision for this cause. I'll be updating everyone on the process of this through the GoFundMe page, Reddit and on Discord." 

Cam G said a detailed plan would be shared in a GoFundMe update and on r/thegiftofgaming, but there's no formal framework currently in place. That might be a little off-putting—big ideas are nice, but execution is what matters—but that's the nature of crowdfunding anyway: You find a cool idea, throw some money at it, and hope the guy at the other end doesn't run off with it in the night. 

And I really hope this one goes smoothly: Even without the charity element, the billboard is a lovely idea, and the response to it genuinely heartwarming. Hello Games had a very rough ride with No Man's Sky at launch, but it followed through on its commitment to stick with it (which we can all be forgiven for having some doubts about), and it kind of reaffirms my faith in humanity to see that effort recognized by the community. 

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.