Hello Games founder Sean Murray reveals that No Man's Sky has been in a legal dispute over the game's name for three years, but successfully settled the case this week.
No Man's Sky developer Hello Games hasn't just been troubled by delays of the game and angry death threats but was facing something potentially more damning. While many fans had thought the name No Man's Sky was set in stone, it turns out that the space-faring simulator has been under constant legal pressure from London-based mass media company Sky TV to remove the Sky portion of game's name.
Now, Hello Games has finally secured the rights to retain the name No Man's Sky after settling the dispute. According to studio founder Sean Murray, Sky TV had opened the lawsuit over three years ago, likely not long after the game itself was revealed. As is usually the case in litigation, the process of resolving the dispute took much longer than one would expect, spanning more than one thousand days before reaching a settlement.
Murray noted that while it sounds like a dispute that could be easily won, the Sky TV network had successfully forced Microsoft to change the name of its cloud-based storage service form SkyDrive to OneDrive. Taking tech giants like Microsoft to court is no small task, and we have little doubt Sean Murray's company has invested a small fortune in order to retain the name of the game. With the lawsuit now firmly in the rearview mirror, Murray and his team are now free to focus on getting the game ready to launch this August.
The gaming industry is full of lawsuits on the regular, with some recent notable cases being ZeniMax taking on Bethesda over the game name Scrolls, and a key developer of ARK: Survival Evolved being sued over allegedly violating a non-compete clause in his contract. As is the case with No Man's Sky, these seem to resolve with settlements, though the details of these agreements have been kept away from public eyes.
The game was originally scheduled to release this month, before Sony confirmed a few weeks ago that the game would be delayed two extra months to give Hello Games some time to fine-tune the title. We think it's best for a developer to get the extra time to release the title in polished form when needed, though some fans evidently didn't see things the the same way.
With the lawsuit news coming to light, it's quite possible that the legal dispute had a key part in delaying the game itself, though this wasn't confirmed by either party. In any case, now that lawyers aren't distracting Sean Murray and his team, hopefully the game won't be the subject of any more delays.
No Man’s Sky is scheduled for release on August 9, 2016 for PC and PlayStation 4.
Source: Sean Murray