Sony President Shuhei Yoshida suggests that the poor reception to No Man's Sky boils down to over-promising on features and a lack of PR support for the game.
No matter how gamers like to shake it, the fact of the matter is No Man’s Sky failed. It may not have been a complete failure as some are saying, but the highly anticipated game didn’t meet all expectations either. How exactly No Man’s Sky failed, however, is up for debate, but one high-ranking Sony official is putting some of the blame on the PR for No Man’s Sky, or rather the lack thereof.
Sony President Shuhei Yoshida has never been one to mince words when it comes to discussing his company’s releases. He embraces them and tries to promote them as best he can, but when things go wrong he is usually pretty honest about what happened. In No Man’s Sky’s case, though, he may be a bit too honest.
Speaking with Eurogamer, Yoshida says he believes that the failings of No Man’s Sky rest in two places. One is a common complaint we’ve heard with the game: lead developer Sean Murray overpromised and under-delivered.
It’s no secret that No Man’s Sky was initially billed as a game with a wider scope and a larger feature set. Promises of multiplayer, interaction with other players, and more planet diversity are three of the more common themes brought up when criticizing the game, but most saw those shortcomings ahead of time. For as much as Hello Games liked to talk the game up at the outset, the developers soon started tempering expectations as No Man’s Sky’s release date neared.
It’s then that the lack of PR support for No Man’s Sky began to hurt the product as well, according to Yoshida. Though Sony did presumably help with trailers and advertising, the messaging coming out of Hello Games certainly could have used some work.
"It wasn't a great PR strategy, because he didn't have a PR person helping him, and in the end he is an indie developer. But he says their plan is to continue to develop No Man's Sky features and such, and I'm looking forward to continuing to play the game."
For example, prior to launch Sean Murray and his team were out there fielding interviews and helping “sell” the game, but once No Man’s Sky launched everything went dark. Not a single outlet has been able to interview a Hello Games representative, and most of the communication coming from the studio has been muddled at best. We know what the studio hopes to fix and add to No Man’s Sky, including base building, but there is no timeline for these features.
Ultimately, No Man’s Sky will go down as yet another game with a ton of promise but whose execution just couldn’t quite meet expectations. Sure, there are plenty of players who had an enjoyable experience with the game – read Game Rant’s No Man’s Sky review – but even more came away dismayed by the experience. And according to Shuhei Yoshida, some of that could have been avoided, or at least lessened.
No Man's Sky is out now for PC and PS4.