The Hello Games Twitter account posts that No Man's Sky was a mistake, then deletes the tweet and makes its Twitter account private, without providing an explanation.
Update: Since publishing this article, confusion over the "No Man's Sky was a mistake" tweet has grown. A representative from Hello Games responded to questions stating the post was created by a disgruntled employee. However, shortly after that, an email was sent from Sean Murray to multiple outlets claiming he was the source of the post, and that the team "have not been coping well." That email has since been followed up by tweets from Murray claiming the company has been hacked, supposedly through LinkedIn. Additional emails have gone out to news outlets concerning the tweet and possible hack, adding to the confusion. It's possible Murray's own Twitter account has been hacked, judging by recent posts.
Hello Games has now responded, saying the tweets and emails were all part of the hack. Naturally, many gamers and outlets, ourselves included, are still unsure of the situation, and will be until a formal statement is made by Murray or Hello Games. The developer may even need to do a video statement, just to make sure any confusion is cleared up.
.@NoMansSky 100% not hacked anymore... obviously those mails and that tweet were fake. Back to work 💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻— Hello Games (@hellogames) October 28, 2016
We'll continue to provide updates as the situation advances. Original story follows:
It’s safe to say it’s been a rough few months for developer Hello Games. After years of anticipation for No Man’s Sky, and gamer hype at maximum levels, the game ultimately fell flat. While publicity seemed top of mind for Hello Games CEO Sean Murray and his team leading up to No Man’s Sky release, the whole team has been absent from the spotlight almost entirely during the last couple of months.
Until now. Early this morning, the Hello Games Twitter account shared a short, but very powerful statement: “No Man’s Sky was a mistake.” Shortly after the tweet went out, the developer made its Twitter account private and deleted the tweet. A cached photo of the tweet can be seen below. It seems the developer can't quite escape bad PR.
While the tweet was already a little suspect, the fact that it was deleted and the developer has made its Twitter account private seems to point at a troll or hacker gaining access to the account. In fact, the cached photo shows that the tweet was sent via LinkedIn, meaning it didn’t come via the company’s Twitter account, but rather by way of a LinkedIn account attached to the Hello Games’ Twitter account.
There are a couple ways this could have happened. A disgruntled employee with access to the Twitter account via their LinkedIn page could have posted the tweet. Or someone could have gained access to an employee LinkedIn account and used that to access the Hello Games Twitter. This is, of course, just speculation until Hello Games confirms what happened, but based on the way the company reacted to the tweet, it’s a safe bet the tweet wasn’t an official statement from the company.
That said, No Man’s Sky has been a major black eye for Hello Games and Sean Murray in particular. Many gamers felt slighted when the game didn’t incorporate many of the features they expected, and when certain statements about the game - particularly from Murray - were revealed to be false or misleading. In fact, the game now has an “Overwhelmingly Negative” status on Steam, and is under investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority for false representation.
Neither Hello Games nor Sean Murray have responded to the "mistake" tweet or inquiries about it, so it’s unknown exactly how the tweet came to pass. That said, it serves as another sad chapter in the book of Hello Games’ current downfall. While the developer isn’t dead, it’s definitely struggling to maintain any kind of positive rapport with gamers. And considering the developer is already working on its next game, it needs to do something to rebuild trust in the industry, or there may not be any support left for another game from Hello Games.
What do you think about the tweet from Hello Games? Was the developer hacked, or could it be something else?
No Man’s Sky is currently available for PC and PlayStation 4.