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Procedurally generated space exploration game No Man’s Sky disappointed many when it launched back in August. A lot of that disappointment can be credited to the game’s PR strategy, according to President of Sony Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida.
I understand some of the criticisms especially [director] Sean Murray is getting because he sounded like he was promising more features in the game from day one.
It wasn’t a great PR strategy, because he didn’t have a PR person helping him, and in the end he is an indie developer.
Since No Man’s Sky released, videos have been circulating online of Sean Murray promising features that didn’t make it into the final game. The most famous being multiplayer. This prompted many to demand refunds on the grounds they were sold a different game. Expectations had been running wild since the game’s dazzling debut back in 2014. The fallout of anything in the spotlight for so long is that it will inevitably fall short of what people expected.
Sean Murray has reiterated that they will continue to work on No Man’s Sky, with a recent update on their website promising free updates in the future. Sean Murray and Hello Games have not tweeted from their respective accounts since the middle of August, however. Despite the troubled launch of No Man’s Sky, Shuhei Yoshida enjoys the game and is pleased with its outcome:
I am super happy with the game actually, and I’m amazed with the sales the game has gotten, so I’m not the right person to judge if it has ‘harmed’ the PlayStation brand. I personally don’t think so. If anything, I am proud that people can play No Man’s Sky on PS4 as well as PC.
For a game that Sony pushed at various conventions and placed on such a high pedestal, it is somewhat strange to see Yoshida bash the game’s PR strategy. Of course as a distributor you’re not responsible for managing a game’s press, but did frequently thrusting it into the spotlight help the situation? Problems aside, No Man’s Sky has sold incredibly well and is an imaginative experience that pushed boundaries, an accomplishment that should be applauded regardless.
Image: Hello Games