One of the most anticipated indie video games of all time fails to meet expectations. Now a huge chunk of players want their money back.
Even if you have zero interest in actually playing within the procedural generated world of No Man’s Sky, you’ve probably seen news about the action-adventure survival game. Ever since the game was announced in 2013, there have been little bits and pieces of news about the game leaking at a steady stream. Many journalists thought No Man’s Sky would be the next Minecraft, World of Warcraft, or EVE Online. Some were concerned the indie development background and the high expectations surrounding it would result in a game like Spore, which failed to reach a high level of critical acclaim. It looks like those journalists had a right to be concerned.
Despite the gorgeous minimalist graphics and the open free roam gameplay, No Man’s Sky hasn’t been received well. As of this article the game has 2 and a half stars on Steam (and dropping). And critics aren’t going light on the game either. One of the main issues is the severe number of technical issues. Yes this happens all the time to games (especially on Steam), even from big commercial developers. But when you build up a game so highly, spend years developing and delaying, gamers who preordered the game do expect a high quality product in the end.
Plaguing the gameplay itself are very repetitive actions, limited things to do within the open world, and the lack of multiplayer on PS4 at launch. It baffles me that multiplayer is missing after such a long development cycle filled with delays. No Man’s Sky has 18 quintillion planets, but even that huge open world can’t save the game from criticism.
This is the classic result of building up a product with heavy media marketing and not being able to deliver. Now an indie studio who should be focused on what new features to add has been turned into a customer support agency. A game built for just two platforms over 3 years shouldn’t have this many problems.
Gamers have a right to complain and demands refunds. In the end the developers teased a game that as of right now, can’t reach the expectations they set out to fulfill. A beautiful massive would is great, but when you took years to develop it and there’s nothing really refreshing to do in it.. that becomes a problem. Skyrim didn’t have this problem. Neither did Grand Theft Auto, or any other highly publicized open world game.
The main issue also boils down to how gamers who purchased the game have been treated. Sony and the developer went silent since launch. Features were cut from the final game, features teased from the beginning. Are gamers feeling misled? Of course. The sad part is that the game has made a huge sum of money despite those who bought it feeling like they made a mistake.
Years of promised features have left gamers with a lackluster game and a large group of fellow angry fans. If there’s going to be DLC releases, let’s hope they will be free. Otherwise it’s just like pouring salt on an open wound. Releasing DLC with the actual content promised might be the only thing that can save No Man’s Sky.