Almost 4 years ago, at E3 2015, we were shown a vision of the future. A future where games would be limitless manifests of your imagination. It was, indeed, No Man’s Sky; a game that promised a never-ending universe with trillions of unique star systems populated by players and NPC. Such a daunting claim had never been made by anyone before that. This resulted in No Man’s Sky being one of the most anticipated and hyped games of all time. The game eventually came out the following year, in 2016. With over a million copies sold in the game’s first week alone, it quickly became one of the best-selling games on Steam ever. However, just over a week after release, the player base had already dropped to a fraction of what it was at release. What went wrong?
Simply put, Hello Games just failed to deliver on their promise. No Man’s Sky was supposed to be the new Half Life of games. It was supposed to be a milestone in the history of game design and development. The game was supposed to be fully multiplayer with potentially millions of players exploring galaxies together. We were supposed to see amazing space battles between player fleets, astounding worlds and civilizations on the planets that the players had colonized, amazingly complex and fascinating flora and fauna of distant alien worlds and just, so much more.
Years after release, a lot people in the gaming community still feel betrayed just by the sheer amount of false promises that were made. Hello Games have not lost faith in their magnum opus yet, though. Even if the game has only a few thousand concurrent players left, the game is still receiving updates and improvements.
No Man’s Sky NEXT
Last year, Sean Murray, Founder of Hello Games announced No Man’s Sky NEXT. This was a free update that was described as No Man’s Sky 1.5 by him. It added a lot of functionality that was promised for the original game. This included base building, matchmaking with friends, customization options and other narrative driven stuff. The update was received well by the community but again, felt short of that initial promise. It managed to claw back some ground though resulting in fans appreciating Hello Games’ dedication to the game. The update was a massive step in the right direction.
No Man’s Sky Beyond
Now, almost a year after No Man’s Sky NEXT, Hello Games has announced another major update for No Man’s Sky. No Man’s Sky “Beyond” will consist of 3 updates out of which one has been revealed. The one we know about is called “No Man’s Sky Online” and it “includes a radical new social and multiplayer experience which empowers players everywhere in the universe to meet and play together” and with the 3 updates coming together forms a “vision for something much more impactful.”
No Man’s Sky BEYOND, a major free chapter, coming Summer 2019.
With three updates in one:
1) No Man's Sky Online
— Sean Murray (@NoMansSky) March 15, 2019
This means that the game might finally be moving towards the original vision Hello Games had for it back at E3 2015. “These changes are an answer to how we have seen people playing since the release of NEXT, and is something we’ve dreamed of for a long time,” said Murray about the new update. The details about the update are still pretty sparse so we’ll just have to wait and see where this goes. Judging from the teaser and the way it is being hyped, however, it seems like this might finally be the update that turns No Man’s Sky into the masterpiece of a game it was supposed to be. But then you look at the past and try to stifle your hopes and excitement just because of the trust that has been broken between the developer and the players.
This update is probably No Man’s Sky’s final shot at redemption. Hello Games not getting this right would probably result in a slow and sad death of No Man’s Sky. On the contrary, if they do pull it off, this could be end up being one of the biggest comebacks of all time. Let’s hope that No Man’s Sky does end up being the game it deserves to be. After all, we still want the E3 2015 dream to be real. Fingers crossed!