No Man's Sky Did Not "Harm" PlayStation Brand, But PR Strategy Not the Best, Exec Says

"I'm amazed with the sales the game has gotten."

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Now Playing: No Man's Sky - Review

No Man's Sky was one of the most-hyped games this year, so when it finally came out in August, it faced the uphill battle of living up to what people expected it to be. Now, PlayStation executive Shuhei Yoshida has said the strategy that Hello Games and director Sean Murray took of discussing features that didn't make it into the launch version might not have been the best way to go.

"I understand some of the criticisms especially Sean Murray is getting, because he sounded like he was promising more features in the game from day one," Yoshida told Eurogamer. "It wasn't a great PR strategy."

Hello Games is a small, independent studio. Yoshida said part of the problem might have been that Murray apparently did not have a PR person or team to help him determine what he should and shouldn't say. Indeed, a number of features that Murray discussed were not included in the launch version of No Man's Sky. However, Murray has talked about adding new features to the game over time as free DLC, including base-building and more.

Yoshida said he's eager to see where the game goes in the future.

"[Murray] says their plan is to continue to develop No Man's Sky features and such, and I'm looking forward to continuing to play the game," he said.

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Hello Games published the digital version of No Man's Sky for PS4 and PC. Sony published and distributed the physical version of No Man's Sky for PS4, so there is probably a conversation to be had about why Sony did not reign in what Murray was saying about No Man's Sky before launch.

Eurogamer also asked Yoshida whether he thought that No Man's Sky "harmed" the PlayStation brand if people have the perception that Hello Games over-promised and under-delivered.

"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," he said. "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."

No Man's Sky landed at the No. 2 position for sales in the US for August 2016, behind only juggernaut Madden NFL 17. However, neither Hello Games nor Sony have provided any specific sales figures for the game to date.

Fans looking forward to what's coming next for No Man's Sky have been out of luck lately. Murray himself has not tweeted since August 18, while Hello Games has been silent since August 27.

For more on No Man's Sky, check out GameSpot's review.

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Avatar image for AyatollaofRnR

Sony was hyping No Man Sky hard, not just Shuan Murray. Blew up in their face.

At least by the time it comes to Xbox, it will be a more developed and feature complete game.

Avatar image for ArchoNils2

"It's amazing that so many gamers buy a game if we lie to them enough"

Avatar image for Yams1980

so glad i didnt pre-order this game. but i've made mistakes before on other games by jumping into them too soon. You never can be 100% sure on these things.

Avatar image for Techtroll

And thats why they say dont preorder and wait till reviews are out but the sheep love blindly throwing their money away to liars and cheats in the industry. Congrats u made sean murray a millionaire lol

Avatar image for Spartan363

Looks like Murray is running away with the millions he amassed if he's been silent for nearly a month now and will most likely leave the country too. I see dozens of ads on my local Craigslist of pissed off PS4 owners selling their copies of NMS, Fallout 4 and now even their PS4 console because of the broken promises of NMS and Sony screwing over PS4 Fallout players over not allowing mods.

Avatar image for naryanrobinson

Anyone who filed a lawsuit against them would win. I wish someone would.

Avatar image for kagatoac

No mans sky didn't hurt it as much as denying Mods to Fallout / Skyrim did. the Mods issue is a much further reaching effect, at least in my opinion.

Avatar image for snowspot

I think it did kind of hurt their brand, to be honest. Did Sony not take a look at the game they were publishing? I had assumed they were making judgement calls on NMS, not just hello games. I will definitely remember No Man's Sky next time Sony is boasting about an indie title. They better learn from their mistake and help out on Shenmue 3.

Avatar image for d2149_bot

Who plays a game they claim to hate for 40, 50, 60, 70, 100 hours?

The entire NMS circus classically underlines everything that is wrong with the video game community on the internet today. I don't even bother getting involved with game sites and game forums like I did a decade or two ago. There is so much hate out there now. So much entitlement. So much constant whining and complaining. It seems these new comers to the hobby are never happy. Never satisfied with anything. All they seem capable of doing is bringing everyone within ear shot of their rants down with their perpetual vortex of negative energy.

Why would any veteran gamer want to associate themselves with people like that? Or the dysfunctional train wrecks they seem to turn every forum discussion they touch into? Its embarrassing as all hell to even read the bulk of the posts I see these days on most game forums.

No Man's Sky simply brought all that toxin to the surface at the same time, focused onto a single video game and its small team of indie developers. And now we have it all preserved for the ages thanks to the magic of Google and Amazon Web Services. In all of its grotesque glory.

Nothing to be proud of folks.

You can say what you want about the game... But nothing that was said, delivered or not delivered deserved that level of vitriol. And even today, over a month since the game launched, there are still far too many so called gamers out there who insist on descending into any new NMS article to drop their stink bombs of hate and negativity on anyone who dares support the game, give it a thumbs up, or otherwise doesn't share their negative opinions on the game or its developers.

I personally have thoroughly enjoyed the game, and while I have played it daily and surpassed over 150 hours of actual game time on my PS4 version, I am still finding new things and continuing to enjoy the exploration and discovery aspects that I always expected NMS to be focused on providing.

It didn't fail me in those areas, and thus I have no reason to be angry, bitter or otherwise pissed off. The game after all hasn't even reached version 1.1 yet. I fully expect improvements over time to give me even more reasons to keep playing it.

I feel sorry for all those so called gamers who are obviously incapable of seeing the same unique and almost magical environments in this game that I and other NMS supporters enjoy. Moments unlike anything I have seen in any other video game I own or have played in the last 35+ years in the hobby. There are a few in my collection that made a similar impression and impact, but none exactly like this one. And that is an accomplishment in my book!

And with a personal video game library containing over 1500 boxed game discs, cartridges and other forms of media including many from the Atari arcade machine era, No Man's Sky isn't even close to making it onto my Wall of Shame list of the worst video games of all time. So when I read some hater proclaiming that NMS is the worst video game of all time, I just have to laugh at the clueless arrogance and stupidity of such a statement.

NMS actually enjoys a position in my collection of being one of the most unique and inspired video games in my entire collection. This kind of perspective only comes from having decades of experience in this hobby. Playing a wide variety of video games from all kinds of sources, from all over the world. Fanboys and haters would never understand, and will never have the perspective I and my fellow vet gamers/collectors have.

In closing... I hope to god all the NMS haters haunting this and other gaming sites will have finally moved on by this time next month, and will at last find something productive to do with their free time as opposed to continuing to spew their toxic bile onto anyone who dares to claim they actually enjoy and continue to enjoy No Man's Sky.

They might want to consider playing a video game instead. Provided of course they can find one they actually like! ;) Sure beats spending every waking moment of your life hating on a video game you have never actually played. ;)

And P.S. I won't be following this thread, so don't bother hating on me for daring to share my opinion, and having the audacity to have actually purchased and played NMS before posting my opinion of the game and its value as a new addition to the hobby.

Cheers Vets! Hope you guys are doing well. :)

Avatar image for deactivated-595b778b5cc80

@d2149_bot: I love this comment. I forget that the community I love is still out there sometimes with all of the poison and fury that find their way into these comment sections.

Being disappointed with a game is fine, there's nothing wrong with that and there should be a place that people can go to voice their frustration so that the devs will hear about it. Some folk felt let down by NMS and that's okay. It's the way some elements voice their disappointment that sickens me. It's deplorable, nonconstructive, and honestly embarrassing. I've been gaming for 29 years and can't ever remember there being such a large number of bitter elements in the community surrounding this industry. Why would anyone want to make games when they risk being the focus of so much bs and bile?

Anyway, thanks for this comment. Nice to see a sensible head in the wasteland from time to time.

Avatar image for famekiller

@d2149_bot i actually read your entire post. You nailed it! I agree 100% there is a lot of hate out there. Sad and pathetic people. Sometimes I wish the game industry would close just to shut these self-entitled bitches up.

Avatar image for snowspot

@famekiller: I own No Man's Sky... and it's not a full game, and Murray continually lied in his interviews. There are certainly self-entitled gamers, but No Man's Sky's deception goes beyond the pale. I'm happy it was called out. It's a $15 game being masqueraded as a triple-A experience.

Avatar image for famekiller

@snowspot : I get what you're saying snowspot, but life's full of disappointments. Just look at politicians. They promise things everyday, only to break them an hour later. Why don't we hit the internet and mass protest over that? Just because a game dev promised a purple blob that shoots rainbow lasers from its backside, and then dropped it last minute doesn't mean it's the end of the world. It's only video game. If you don't like the game, ask for a refund. Maybe Gamers should demand demos for all games. Or no sale.

Avatar image for Spartan-1657

@snowspot: Exactly this. I was holding out for this game, waiting to hear the feedback. Almost immediately it was negative. I decided I'd wait until it was cheaper. Then I found the big, massive post of everything that was promised, with links to sources, and how much Sean Murray lied. I will never support this game or this developer and I'm so glad I didn't jump on the hype train.

This game is one that deserves the constant bashing and negativity it gets. It earned it through their deception.

PS - this game's commercials and marketing are still showing elements of this game that just do not exist in the actual game. Very deceitful. And Sean, who was pretty active on Twitter, has remained silent and has not posted anything since August 18th. Speaks volumes about what that guy actually thinks of his finished product.

Avatar image for seanwil545

"No. 2 position for sales in the US for August 2016"...and "Mostly Negative" on Steam.

Avatar image for Inzano

@seanwil545: Also keep in mind that only people who own the game can leave steam reviews. That means no negative reviews from people who refunded.

Avatar image for lina_baby_doll

I keep thinking about Sean Murray. What kind of person he is. Is he a good friend, a good husband? Does he lie to his family too? How can he live with himself? He didn't harm the Playstation brand. He just harmed this entire generation.

I just hope that when he takes a ride on his brand new car, the guilt, the shame and the lack of dignity make impossible for him to enjoy anything anymore.

Avatar image for snowspot

@lina_baby_doll: It is interesting to look at it from a human perspective, and wonder why someone would smile and lie through their teeth during interviews, and TV show appearances, and never really take into account the backlash that would happen after the game was released. Maybe he's a compulsive liar, maybe he got caught up in something he never expected to, and to not upset people he kept agreeing to whatever people wanted to be in the game? We might never know since he's seemingly gone into hiding. I wonder what Hello Games is saying internally, must be interesting.

Avatar image for da_chub

This just shows, just because it sells, doesn't mean it's good. It just means that lots of sheep spent their wool money.

It is an incredibly boring game, lifeless feeling. I feel bad since I decided not to get it after my bud got it day 2. I don't think he has played it much either.

Avatar image for megantereon

I am amazed how people are swayed by marketing hype. With all the information available on the internet, and the experience of ever purchasing anything why can't people just read for themselves?

I could understand if this was the first game they purchased, but there are thousands of posts on this site for many games and comment from people swearing they will never pre-order again because the game they purchased did not live up to its hype. Come on. Read the box or the digital download description before you plunk $60 for a purchase. It quite clearly states it is a single player game.

Try renting first, or waiting for the review, or learn how your grandparents don't buy anything without serious contemplation first of whether it is a good buy. When you make pure emotional decisions to purchase it rarely turns out well, and any decision based on marketing hype is purely emotional.

That being said. I rented from Gamely first and enjoyed the game enough to buy it. I am enjoying moving from solar system to solar system exploring planets and moons and observing the infinite patterns of lifeforms and scenery. The game will find a following of people who enjoy it.

In my opinion I think it helped the PS4 brand because I enjoy the game.

Avatar image for fig56

@megantereon: Well said. The problem with people is that have no self accountability for their actions. They want to blame others with their purchase of a game they don't enjoy after the fact. Like you said so many resources out there to keep people from getting buyers remorse that they really have nobody to blame but themselves. No, they HAVE TO preorder or the world is going to implode.

Avatar image for Foxhound71

If the Playstation brand were a giant enemy crab, then No Mans Sky is the game that hit it's weak point for maximum damage.

Avatar image for firedrakes

lets all agree that they (dev) where force to get the game out early.

Avatar image for mrmiggins

It has definitely damaged the Playstation brand... I'm sure I'm not the only one who is now more interested than ever in the Nintendo NX.

Avatar image for voltron-iii

Next major update:

NPC Aliens walk about in the predetermined rooms they're already found in.

"Look space traveler, I can walk now! Wanna know the secrets of the universe?"

-from 38 yr old gamer who won't ever preorder again. NMS was the straw.

Now off to play Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Avatar image for Redrivar

@7tizz: profusely

Avatar image for mboettcher

I have never enjoyed a game more for the first 20 or so hours only to be so thoroughly disappointed by its utter meaninglessness when I started trying to actually "complete" it. I'm not confident that any amount of post release content will make this game worth driving into again, but I was wrong about fallout shelter and that took a year before it got interesting again

Avatar image for megantereon

@mboettcher: Enjoying a game for 20 hours works out to a great game. It takes me less time to finish Assassins Creed or Uncharted. Only multiplayer games have longer lives and this was definitely disclosed as a single player game on the box and on the digital download site at the time of purchase.

Avatar image for mboettcher

@megantereon: The game LENGTH is not the issue. It is a game with a story, a goal, and "end." Once I got platinum, once I visited my 100th planet and catalogued my 1000th animal, once I maxed my tool/suit/ship, there was still a game to finish. And finishing that game was a major letdown. I think the amount I enjoyed those first 20 (probably more) hours made the chore that was finishing the game that much more disappointing.

Avatar image for voltron-iii

@mboettcher: I'm in your boat. I had that hope initially. But it would take SO much...basically another game, lol. I've thought more about what this game could be while playing it than what I'm actually doing. That's never happened.

Avatar image for rodoxthedark

Thought I'd have another go this evening I glazed over after 10 minutes again, it needs so much, base building, better ship combat, quests, real trading, total npc overhaul, redesign of space stations (that add verity) variety verety variety variety differing ship handling, freedom on ship handling on planets, enjoyment, but I think Sean has taken his money and vanished, probably to build a spaceship

Avatar image for skipper847

The standard Steam refund policy applies to No Man's Sky. There are no special exemptions available. Click here for more detail on the Steam refund policy.

First time I have ever seen this message on steam on store page. Says it all.

Avatar image for skipper847

How many tried refund on steam after 2 hours of play lol. In the end they had to put up a message saying this game does not have special refund. The only game ive known for this kind of message. So a lot must have tried. I wounder if you could have refunded on steam after 2 hours how many would have.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k

When your only defense is "But it sold well" you're into Call of Duty territory.

The dev going radio silent after a disastrous launch says it all.

Avatar image for megantereon

@Thanatos2k: Call of Duty are still very popular even though there is a faction of COD haters. I think it is quite challenging to make a game that a group of people will not hate. They should not try to make a game that everyone loves. That's why you may want to rent games first.

Avatar image for deactivated-5ae060efb3bf6

I never had a problem, read up on the game couple months before launch and got exactly what they advertised. Nothing more nothing less.

Avatar image for Spartan-1657

@Triton: No, you didn't. You clearly just don't realize it.

Avatar image for tom_cat_01

I kinda feel sorry for Sean Murray and Hello Games. They were a tiny Indie studio working on a passion project who made a debut trailer for an Indie reel at E3... and suddenly, when nobody had expected it, the hype EXPLODED. All over the world, millions of people instantly decided that this Indie game made by a tiny team was going to be the greastest thing ever; it was going to save gaming, it was going to be limitless and infinite, the culmination of all that was possible in gaming. It was treated as a block-buster AAA game before anybody knew anything about it.

Sony picked up on this hype, and started pumping money into the game, and funding a HUGE advertising campaign, which only fueled the hype more and more. Then Sean Murray started doing PR, clearly overwhelmed by the attention his game was suddenly receiving, and clearly untrained to handle such media/fan hysteria. He mentioned works-in-progress and ideas as if they were concrete components, and fans trawled through his every word from every interview over years and years and interpreted it as gospel. Unfortnately, the finished game didn't include EVERY little thing he'd mentioned across years of interviews. This, combined with the fact that so many gamers doggedly followed his every word and assumed that ALL of it was definite, resulted in a messy fallout post-launch.

But the thing is... all of the hype was misplaced: No Man's Sky isn't the sort of game that the hypers convinced themselves it was going to be. It *can* be an incredibly beautiful, introspective game that examines loneliness, sense-of-wonder, and uses its tone and setting to comment on such themes as isolation, cosmic scale and the meaningless repetition of labour, and it's effects on the individual. Of course, this isn't the type of game the hypers wanted.... hence the backlash.

Avatar image for Spartan-1657

@tom_cat_01: That's not entirely accurate. Even 4 months before launch, Sean was lying in interviews about what would and would not be in this game.

Sure, you can blame the hype a little bit, but the true fault lies in Sean's deceptive marketing and lies. Its inexcusable.

Avatar image for hystavito

@tom_cat_01: Let's not forget to put at least a little blame on the press too :). They went bananas over it after seeing the very first (it might have technically been the second but a first for most including most press people) trailer, like right after it ended when we knew almost nothing about the game.

Early on and for a long time I thought the game wouldn't, couldn't be as amazing as people expected. The "deeper" analysis you brought up in your last paragraph, I expected that to be used by the press as the key element in praising the game, but then even the press started to get tired of waiting and their enthusiasm started to weaken. Then it came out and so many press/reviewers said "meh".

Regardless of where this story goes, Hello Games has probably made a lot of money so they'll be alright :).

Avatar image for moonco

'The Most Overhyped Game of 2016' goes to (drum roll)....No Man's Sky