Released in 2016 by developer Hello Games No Man’s Sky was toted as the next big game by fans. Promising a near infinite explorable universe with a multitude of explorable climates, alien species and a huge variety of planets with their own unique resources, it however fell flat upon release. By this I mean it sold extraordinarily well until players released it was missing a large chunk of promised content and was deemed as incomplete by fans. This prompted outrage online and many demands for refunds, tanking the games popularity and sales. It however has recovered in the eyes of many with multitudes of free updates and releases both adding in said promised content in addition to completely new content as well. I’ve included below the original E3 trailer.
As stated above No Man’s Sky was a heavily anticipated release with many players looking forward to open space combat between fleets, being able to fly across the landscapes of planets, building intergalactic trade empires, exploring new and unique ecosystems with large amounts of varied flora and fauna or just finding a planet before anyone else and naming it Planet McPlanety Face. This last point being due to the ability to name anything you find first before other players and being able to give it a name that becomes global for all players. So why did this game with new revolutionary features and boasting a near infinite universe have such bad reviews and fail to sell, well in short a series of misunderstandings which lead to both promised and assumed content not being included.
Many players had assumed from the trailer that certain bits of gameplay would be included within the game, however these pieces of content had either been phased out in the two years between the trailer and release or removed due to a lack of time. Examples of this include being able to fly across the planets surface and planets, moons and suns having their own physics and rotating round one another. To further compound on this the media and marketing team were promising bits of content and gameplay that weren’t going to be in the base game and not communicating efficiently with the actual production team. These promises included being able to attack space stations and fleets and large scale battles between factions that you could join in on.
Due to these miscommunications between the three parties, that being; the audience, the media team and the design team, No Man’s Sky launched promising a lot more than they were actually delivering on for a very exorbitant price, while also not being able to effectively communicate why this had taken place to begin with. However over the years since then they have not only fulfilled the majority, if not all of the promises they had made, but have also released this for free to add to the base game. Included Here is a link to table created on Reddit showcasing a series of these promises and whether they were kept on launch or have been now fulfilled. Additionally below is a video showcasing some of the original gameplay but also outlining the unsuccessful launch in greater detail.