For the first time since its release five years ago, No Man’s Sky has hit Mostly Positive reviews on Steam. Prior to its release, it was one of the most hyped-up games, many fans counting down the days to its drop. Lead developer Sean Murray spear-headed the hype, boasting features that were nonexistent when the game did drop in August of 2016. Following the drop, hoards of disappointed fans review-bombed the game, sending both its reputation and ratings plummeting.
Tag yourself, I’m disappointment. https://t.co/CkRfyVDra0
— Mr GabeN (@GabeLNewell) August 16, 2016
Now, five years of free updates later, the game has seemingly taken a turn for the better. For many players, Steam reviews are an important factor in deciding to purchase a game. Most might shy away from a game that has ‘Somewhat Positive’ listed, choosing to save their cash than taking a risk. For the reviews on No Man’s Sky to have improved this drastically, it shows that not only have the developers at Hello Games put in the work, but the game is actually pretty good now.
Not only that, but fans are now cheering the game on!
IT FINALLY HAPPENED. pic.twitter.com/sqcB3fmI3P
— El Oshcuro (@DaveOshry) September 6, 2021
It seems that the opinion of the game has undergone a drastic shift. But how has that happened? Following the catastrophic release of the game, lead developer Sean Murray’s response was to buckle down and collect data. Rather than corresponding with the press or releasing statements, the company went radio silent. All player complaints were directed to Sean Murray, shielding the development team from the anger. It was then that Murray began combing through all of the messages sent his way. He separated toxicity from genuine complaints and set to fix the game in accordance with what the player base asked. So, rather than focusing on outward communication, the team at Hello Games communicated solely through patch notes, improving the game an update at a time. Now, years later, that effort has paid off.
The journey has taken Hello Games from a disgraced company five years ago to what is now considered a brilliant example of how all gaming companies should be. When asked of how this journey has made him see games, Murray states that it has allowed him to realize that the long-term impact of a game is far more important than those first-week sales. The example of No Man’s Sky is one that many hope other companies will follow.