Up until last week, everything was fine: the growing mass of people chomping at the bit for a spin on Hello Games’ No Man’s Sky. The highly anticipated title was going to be a fun little experiment that would show off the power of math. Then, suddenly, everything exploded.
A reddit user named daymeeuhn paid something like 2,000 times the sticker price to get his hands on a copy of No Man’s Sky two weeks early. Thinking he was doing the gaming world a favor, daymeeuhn proceeded to stream parts of the game. Though most of his videos have since been taken down, there are still some spoilers waiting on daymeeuhn’s DailyMotion page. As daymeeuhn’s spoilers hit the web, the fan reaction was both immediate and … let’s call it passionate.
Suddenly, the hype around No Man’s Sky was elevated into something venomous. We’re all just casually upvoting a ticking time bomb, people.
The Center of the Galaxy
A mere 30 hours after opening the box, NMS superstar-for-a-moment daymeeuhn dropped the bomb: he’d reached the center of the galaxy. What resulted was a firestorm of complaints from a particularly vocal portion of the game’s fans. Daymeeuhn received a pile of abuse for “spoiling the whole game” — which he didn’t do, because math makes that an actual impossibility. Hello Games’ lead developer, Sean Murray, was besieged with attacks from folks who claimed he’d lied to them about the depth offered in No Man’s Sky.
Meanwhile, an equally fanatical sect sprung up that vowed to support Murray with near religious fervor. The fallout has been, to say the least, divisive.
One brave soul even decided to take on the blame for the whole kerfuffle like one of those sad kids who acts up to unify arguing parents.
Sean Murray DGAF
In the beginning of the project, Sean Murray was looking to his exploration title as a kind of professional salvation, a project that might rekindle his dwindling love affair with programming. For Murray, No Man’s Sky was both a chance to do something different from his previous work and an opportunity to fulfill his childhood dream of visiting an alien planet. He’s worked hard to gift everyone with that same strange sensation.
So, given that the sense of virginal exploration seems to be so important to the game’s experience, Murray’s reaction to the leaker streaming the game’s opening moments was simple.
It’s actually impressive that — given the road he’s run up to this point — Murray was able to summon that kind of genuine emotion. That was just a few days ago, before the maelstrom surrounding the leaked footage continued to assault social media and forums across the internet.
After days of being called a liar and having his dev team threatened (for the second time in the game’s life cycle) for the apparent long con they’ve perpetrated on the gaming community, Murray’s reaction to the bold faced critiques has become a little more flippant.
Congratulations, everyone, we’ve worn Sean Murray down to a useless nub. At least he finished the game first, though, right?
We’re Almost There, People, Cool Your Jets
In the last few days, some of the top earning posts on the subreddit have been simple shots of the game boxes, all stacked up but completely unattainable, like some form of video game edging.
In No Man’s Sky, we’ve hit the level of maximum expectation, and that level of buzz means that whatever game lands in players’ hands next Tuesday, the reaction will be big, and not everyone will be happy.
What’s gone down so far has just been a taste of the drama to come.