Fans aren't all that happy with the results of No Man's Sky. Some people enjoy what the game brings to the table while others are demonstrably anguished at the missing features. Sony's worldwide president, Shuhei Yoshida, explained why he felt the game over promised and under delivered.
Speaking to Eurogamer at the recent Tokyo Game Show in Tokyo, Japan, Yoshida explained that a lot of the promises and the hype came from Murray's PR campaign, stating...
It's a little hard to get behind what Yoshida is saying because Sony was there every step of the way. It's unlikely like Hello Games on their own could pull strings to get on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. And it wasn't like Hello Games had the budget to market No Man's Sky absolutely everywhere. According to another Eurogamer article, it was revealed that Sony did have a hand in publishing and distributing the Blu-ray version of the game, which is why it was so heavily promoted for the PS4.
Sean Murray may have been the front-man for the PR campaign, but Sony was backing aspects of that campaign for the PS4. So the question is: if Murray didn't have a great PR strategy, why didn't Sony assign a press rep to Murray to help "shape" the message? Perhaps if they had, Murray could have learned some of what he didn't know about PR, and wouldn't have promised the world, or in this case, the universe, to gamers.
The only other indie game of sorts that received a lot of organic media attention was DayZ. But the difference was that DayZ was already playable, so expectations were more moderate.
In the case of No Man's Sky, a lot of people were disappointed to find out that simultaneous multiplayer wasn't actually in the game, and that the actual gameplay was more-so just a scavenge-grind like many other procedurally generated exploration games. I don't think the game itself did anything wrong, but it received a lot of PR hype for what essentially turned out to be a content-deficient 3D version of Chucklefish Studios' Starbound. Technically, if there was a lot of PR backing for Starbound, I can at least attest to the game having enough gameplay mechanics and discovery depth to live up to the kind of hype that No Man's Sky received. That's not to mention that the game is also very mod-friendly, so anything it lacks you can actually add.
In the case of No Man's Sky, as Yoshida points out, the guys and gals at Hello Games are now hard at work attempting to add into the game what was promised on the PR trail. That hasn't stopped some gamers from flooding Sony and Valve with refund requests, but Yoshida seems confident that eventually, Hello Games will be able to deliver on what they promised... eventually.
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