When No Man's Sky launched back in 2016, the highly anticipated space exploration game was met with a mixed reception. It was clear that Hello Games had misrepresented the title on numerous occasions, with game director Sean Murray blatantly lying about some of its features in various interviews, and that resulted in significant controversy. However, some fans took their outrage too far by harassing and sending death threats to the No Man's Sky development team, even for things as little as butterflies.
According to Murray, he received one death threat about there not being butterflies in the launch version of No Man's Sky, despite the announcement trailer showing butterflies in-game. That was just one death threat the team received, though; there were many more death threats sent to Murray and Hello Games for various other reasons, in addition to general harassment and bomb threats.
"I remember getting a death threat about the fact that there were butterflies in our original trailer, and you could see them as you walked past them, but there weren’t any butterflies in the launch game. I remember thinking to myself: ‘Maybe when you’re sending a death threat about butterflies in a game, you might be the bad guy.’"
Murray and Hello Games remained in frequent contact with Scotland Yard and the Metropolitan police during this period, and for good reason. While it appears as though the threats were all empty, no one can be too careful with this kind of harassment, and it's fortunate there was no physical harm done to Murray or his team.
Depending on how one views the No Man's Sky controversy, they will either put the blame on Murray and Hello Games for misrepresenting it, or they will put the blame on media and fans for overhyping the experience. Regardless of one's feelings about No Man's Sky, though, it goes without saying that sending death threats over things like butterflies not making it into the final product is extreme. In fact, sending death threats at all over being disappointed at a video game is not the appropriate reaction.
No Man's Sky and death threats have gone hand-in-hand since before the game even launched. As some may recall, the game was delayed on numerous occasions before finally launching in the summer of 2016, and these delays saw death threats lobbed at not just Hello Games, but journalists reporting the delay as well.
Despite the game's early controversies, it seems as though Hello Games has not given up on its vision for No Man's Sky, with plans to release a significant update on July 24 that adds a third-person view and true multiplayer gameplay. Whether or not this new and improved version of No Man's Sky takes off remains to be seen, but it will be interesting to see what happens.
No Man's Sky is out now for PC and PS4, and the Xbox One version will launch on July 24.
Source: The Guardian