During his keynote panel at this year’s Develop Conference, Hello Games’ Sean Murray talked about how the studio rebounded after the launch of No Man’s Sky and gives advice to other developers on what you should and shouldn’t do if the launch of a game doesn’t go exactly as planned. He brings up three specific games, Fallout 76, Sea of Thieves, and Anthem; all of which had a disappointing launch when they were released.
Talking about how Hello Games decided to handle the poor launch of No Man’s Sky, Sean Murray said: “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 regrads to where we were at.”
Sean Murray believes that actions speak louder than words. This is the advice that he gave the developers of Fallout 76, Sea of Thieves, and Anthem. He said: “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.”
Ever since Fallout 76, Sea of Thieves, and Anthem were released, they have each tried to maintain the focus that they’re striving to make sure gamers get their money’s worth. Fallout 76 had a presence at Bethesda’s E3 briefing where Todd Howard admitted the failure of the launch of the game while presenting what players can expect next. Sea of Thieves seems to have found its way after launch, with new content and adjustments made to the game. Out of the three, Anthem has probably struggled the most and while Bioware had a plan post-launch, those plans have changed dramatically.
Hopefully, these developers can take Sean Murray’s advice: “talking about features when a game’s already out isn’t that credible or interesting, your actions are so much more important than what you say.” No Man’s Sky has changed dramatically with several content updates, The Abyss and Visions. Another major update, Beyond, is coming out soon and each had provided many reasons for players to jump back and explore the ever-changing universe.