Sony Exec Responds to No Man's Sky Controversy

Hello Games had an "incredible vision" for what they wanted to make.

135 Comments

PlayStation executive Shawn Layden appeared on the Live with YouTube Gaming show last night and discussed a number of subjects, including the reaction to controversial space game No Man's Sky.

He said developer Hello Games had an "incredible vision" for what they wanted to make (via DualShockers). The executive added that No Man's Sky, which features procedurally generated worlds, is something that had never been done in gaming. He also remarked that the team was very small (only six people developed the game) and had a "very huge ambition."

The game launched in August for PS4 and PC without a number of features that director Sean Murray discussed prior to launch; the game and its creators were criticized for this. Layden acknowledged that Hello Games is "still working at it."

"They're still updating it. They're trying to get it closer enough or closer to what their vision was," he said. "I played a lot when it came out."

"I think what we learned from that is that we don't want to stifle ambition. We don't want to stifle creativity," he added. "We don't want to put people into slots where they must execute against an action adventure path or a fighting path or a shooting path. Perhaps over time [No Man's Sky] will reveal itself to be all it can be."

Layden went on to praise Hello Games for their huge ambition for No Man's Sky, while acknowledging that "sometimes you just don't get all the way there at the first go."

"Nobody in development wants to say that they can't do a thing, right? No one wants to tell someone, 'No I can't do that for you,'" Layden said. "People are really trying. I think looking at the different industries I've had the privilege of working, the gaming industry is where everybody has the courage to say 'yes.' And they want to try to realize their ambitions. They want to try to make that vision. No one slinks away from a huge challenge. And sometimes you just don't get all the way there at the first go."

Murray, No Man's Sky's director, has talked about adding new features to the game over time as free DLC, including base-building and more. The game's latest update came out at the end of September and fixed bugs and other issues.

In September, The UK's Advertising Standards Authority launched an investigation into No Man's Sky after it received "several complaints" about the game's potentially misleading advertising. After that, the No Man's Sky subreddit was temporarily closed, after being described by its moderator as a "hate-filled wastehole."

No Man's Sky was the second best-selling game in the United States in August, behind only Madden NFL 17. The game failed to make the top 10 chart for September, while it didn't make the top 20 chart for PlayStation Store games that month.

More recently, the Hello Games Twitter account tweeted about No Man's Sky being "a mistake," but it turned out that this tweet was the result of a hack.

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Avatar image for phoenix1289
phoenix1289

"We don't want to stifle ambition"

Then you should have delayed the game again.

Yes they were a small team and yes it was a hugely ambitious thing they were trying to do but you, Hello games, and the players all know that game wasn't anywhere close to what was actually advertised. If you really don't want to stifle ambition then in that case delay the game and let them get it to the point it was advertised to be at rather than shoving it out the door reliant on patches to maybe possibly fix it and turn it into what it was supposed to be to begin with.

And if you can't do that for some reason then either can the product or release it at a more reasonable price and be open and clear about what the game is actually going to be at release as opposed to what it was hoped to be but never became. People will still be dissapointed and upset but that's better than people feeling ripped off because you lied to them and sold them what was (at best) a $20 game for $60.

Avatar image for Geogyf
Geogyf

@phoenix1289: Too bad Sony was only the physical distributor and not the producer.

They offered more money (in exchange for % profits), but Hello Games refused because they wanted their autonomy.

http://www.tweaktown.com/news/54232/hello-games-priced-mans-sky-60-sony/index.html

Ofcourse they also share a partial blame, because they didnt check the game's quality before it went gold.

Avatar image for chiefwiggum16
chiefwiggum16

Maybe next time but probably not. Fool me once...so on

Avatar image for Barighm
Barighm

@7tizz: Which of the big 3 isn't?

Avatar image for dani_i89
dani_i89

@Barighm: Sony are the worst of the worst though. At least when MS do it, they do it to your face then admit they were wrong and improve. This guy, however, just sidestepped the topic.

Avatar image for dlCHIEF58
dlCHIEF58

@7tizz: They probably encouraged it.

Avatar image for face76
face76

I can see why Sony isn't bad mounting Hello Games . That wold be bad business period . But I an apology is needed to the gamers . Both Sony and Hello Games should have come out and apologized . What makes this worse is that HG just went into hiding . Sony has been the only one to come out and say something.

Avatar image for face76
face76

I can see why Sony isn't bad mounting Hello Games . That wold be bad business period . But I an apology is needed to the gamers . Both Sony and Hello Games should have come out and apologized . What makes this worse is that HG just went into hiding . Sony has been the only one to come out and say something.

Avatar image for hotdiddykong
hotdiddykong

It didn't help that Sony were the ones who were constantly advertising their overglorified trailers.

Stop trying to be cinematic, just show the goddamn gameplay

Avatar image for dani_i89
dani_i89

@hotdiddykong: They did, and it looked lame...somehow people still bought into it despite the demos only showing Sean shooting at rocks and plants. Gamers, Sony and Hello are all to blame for this.

Avatar image for alaskancrab
alaskancrab

I call BS... No Man's Sky is not an application that you can keep revving, ie "still working on it". Do you go to a movie and the director says come back next week, I promise to polish it up?

No you get one chance to make your first and final impression. No Man's Sky is done, and so is Hello Games. And so is that percentage of people who will never preorder again.

Avatar image for dani_i89
dani_i89

@alaskancrab: I don't think pre-ordering is the problem. Whoever didn't see this game as being garbage well in advance has something wrong with them...

I pre-order games I want to play and am very rarely disappointed.

Avatar image for luciferous
luciferous

@alaskancrab: Oh hello person from the past who has somehow stumbled across the internet!

Any game can be worked on and improved now, features can be added, refined and in some rare cases removed. So you don't get one chance, you get as many as non-cockwombles* are willing to give.

* I'm implying you are a massive cockwomble and should return to your own time period.

Avatar image for Servare
Servare

What came out was purely a travesty, but what it can become? Something truly beautiful. I really hope they keep pushing out those updates and constantly adding in new features. It might be too little, too late but it will still be incredible if they can pull off what they originally intended.

Oh well, off to troll the reddit NMS forum.

Avatar image for Red_hot_smasher
Red_hot_smasher

"procedurally generated worlds, is something that had never been done in gaming." - You mean, never been done except all those times it was done in the past, like Spore and MineCraft etc, right?

Avatar image for deactivated-58a78a043e9d4

@Chernnunos @Red_hot_smasher: Simple, he didn't say it. That's pure Eddie. Skip to 35:30

Avatar image for ice12tray
Ice12Tray

The No Mans Sky subreddit also became a Mr.Robot subreddit too...

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Avatar image for speed45823
speed45823

Yes, Sean had this incredible vision of scamming millions of players and then laughing all the way to the bank. And he was pretty successful in fulfilling that vision.

Avatar image for TashunkoSapa
TashunkoSapa

I had this incredible and ambitious vision of me paying $60 for this game, but you know - you can't have them all dollars at the first go, son!

Avatar image for Adam802
Adam802

LOL no mans flop damage control begins from $ony haha

Avatar image for mattcake
mattcake

And sometimes you trip right out of the starting blocks and your face falls into a dog poo.

Avatar image for REDShadowG
REDShadowG

"Sometimes, you need to scam them again."

Avatar image for PETERAKO
PETERAKO

"They're still updating it. They're trying to get it closer enough or closer to what their vision was," he said. "I played a lot when it came out."

Where are those updates? Other than that damn twitter debacle, theres nothing.

Avatar image for corvus_dove
Corvus_Dove

There's no escaping that features were promised that don't exist. That's part of why Steam had updated its policies to require real screenshots.

I also question HG saying they were hacked. "hack" looks a lot like Sean Murray mixing wine and internet after shaving his beard so people won't recognize him in public.

Avatar image for silversix_
silversix_

This game is like Destiny. They will tell you that it'll improve with time but nothing will change because its the same garbage devs that sold their game on hype and nothing else. They'll promise improvements until the game is forgotten (in NMS case) or the sequel comes out (in Destiny case).

Avatar image for Flyin3lvl
Flyin3lvl

@nibbin1191: dude you can type shit now and not get blocked or any thing - they even say shit in some videos

shit shit shit

Avatar image for skipper847
skipper847

Its abit of both of them fault sony and hello games. If hello games just stuck to pc like it was meant to be and not got bribed by sony then I think it would have come out as a early access game on PC first and then things added. I also think money was tight for them as when they first started there building got flooded during in that big storm and lost a lot of money that why so in end they probably had to do it a different way like they did.

Avatar image for RicanV
RicanV

A little late to respond to months old criticism.

NMS was treated very unfairly. There were plenty of people who created their own vision of the game then measured that against the release.

Moderator
Avatar image for speed45823
speed45823

@RicanV: lolwat? More like Sean treated his potential customers unfairly by telling all the sweet little lies.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8P2CZg3sJQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Wgolc1rRro

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVrDaudzn64

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13aFxtoDRs4

Avatar image for asmoddeuss
asmoddeuss

@RicanV: We didn't create our own vision lol, are you blind? Go watch all the videos of HG advertising features that are not in the game, also check the steam screenshots and trailer, nothing like the game, a total scam. How can you call this "There were plenty of people who created their own vision of the game then measured that against the release."

EDIT: UK's Advertising Standards Authority is investigating the case, Steam released new rules about posting images etc., about you game that your want to sell. Sony acknowledge the BS the developers did. These are facts man. Facts are not fiction.

Avatar image for mitharus
mitharus

@asmoddeuss: And people ignore things they don't want to hear ... like ignoring that the video of Murray saying that not all features talked about are going to be there on release. There's only one video where he states this (because he was specifically asked if all features were going to be in at release) from 2015, IIRC. But he did say it. In the other video's, when asked to "describe the game," etc... it looks to me like he was describing the game concept, not what was going to be released. What their vision of what the game would end up being.... not what it currently was.

Now, the screenshots/video's capture the *feeling* of the game (exploration). There is no way to give a representative screenshot. You could take a screenshot, and someone could never see anything like it in the game... would that be a scam because in their play through the engine never generated anything like what you saw in the game? Is it a scam because your screen shot had a blue deer looking thing, and the person only ever saw beige ones when they played, and they really wanted to see a blue deer themselves?

The engine itself is capable of generating those scenes... but it is hamstrung right now. Personally, I don't think the PS4 can handle it... so to give a consistent experience between platforms, everything was lowered to the lowest common denominator for running. Being a small studio, they probably had very little equipment, and most of their testing was done on a Dev PS4 which has a better CPU and more RAM than the consumer PS4.