Back when we first reported on No Man's Sky in 2013, we mostly had an exciting trailer to go on: we knew you could seamlessly fly from a planet's surface to outer space, that it would be procedurally generated, and we saw a sweet sandworm. It was a fantastic announcement trailer (opens in new tab). But Hello Games founder Sean Murray now seems concerned that public perception of No Man's Sky has gotten out of hand.
In a new post—a day before No Man's Sky's PS4 release—Murray tempers some of the wilder expectations. No Man's Sky is a "niche game" and a "very very chill game," he writes. He adds on Twitter that it isn't a multiplayer game—the networking aspects are meant to provide "cool 'moments,'" not a full-blown co-op or PvP experience.
To be super clear - No Man's Sky is not a multiplayer game. Please don't go in looking for that experience.August 8, 2016
As for what No Man's Sky is, Murray says the vision has been the same from the start: a procedurally-generated universe, trading, combat, survival, crafting, a great soundtrack, and the feeling that "you’ve stepped into a sci-fi book cover."
Expectations for games lose parity with reality all the time, and I think it especially happens when there's an air of mystery around multiplayer features. But Murray argues that every bit of game footage released has been representative of the experience they were shooting for, and points to guides about 'what you do' in No Man's Sky put together based on his interviews.
No Man's Sky may not be "the game you *imagined* from those trailers," writes Murray, emphasis his. "If you hoped for things like pvp multiplayer or city building, piloting freighters, or building civilisations… that isn’t what NMS is. Over time it might become some of those things through updates."
In other words, he didn't Molyneux the thing and promise we'd develop a lifelong bond with our alien dog. No Man's Sky has always been about a few specific things, and was never intended to be an MMO or anything like it. Granted, in saying this Murray also calls No Man's Sky an "infinite procedural sci-fi-space-survival-sandbox unlike anything you have ever played before," so the idea that it's incalculably grand and utterly unique remains.
Even so, No Man's Sky "might not be for everyone," concludes Murray. "I expect it to be super divisive, but I’m sat here watching playtesters right now who weren’t supposed to be in, but just wanted to play and chill out. I can’t wait for you to experience that for yourselves."
Hello Games is running its own livestream at 7:30pm GMT (about an hour from now) to offer a better look at what No Man's Sky is and isn't.