We live in a world where hyping things up is the order of the day. Admittedly as media, we’re partly to blame for this trend in modern days and sometimes we, like you, get our excitement levels a bit higher than they should be. Who will ever forget No Man’s Sky’s fall from grace? The game that was going to just about revolutionise the industry fell on its face and the aftermath, at the time, was something else.
If there is one person in this industry that can relate to it it’s Sean Murray. He had to deal with serious hate towards the original game and instead of being vocal about the backlash, he and his team at Hello Games went quiet and today we have a game that is worthy of the original hype. Sometimes it’s better to say nothing and fix what is wrong. At a Develop conference talk he had this to say about how they turned things around:
We went about two years without talking to press at all. And we went about three months without saying anything to the community either. That was really hard. I sat down so many times and wrote the perfect blog post that was going to explain everything about the game’s development, and the road map going ahead. But I could see that it didn’t hold credibility with regards to where we were at.
He then points out that other studios have had similar problems, making it evident that he’s referring to Fallout 76 and Anthem:
There have been a number of games that have since come out, had a polarising launch,and that explosive mix of loads of people playing it but also problems. And I can see EA, Microsoft, or Bethesda try to placate players by just talking to them, but for right or wrong, it just doesn’t really work. You see this all the time when a big publisher will talk to the community and try to solve the problem and then get embroiled, taking up more and more of its head space.
After his keynote, GamesRadar chatted to him about the topic and his words to them were ‘Your actions are so much more important than what you say.’ The proof is in the pudding. Play No Man’s Sky today and it’s a joy to behold. Developers should probably take note of his advice, though we’re not sure the big corporate muscle will get off the hook.