No Man’s Sky Devs Deceived Gamers About Multiplayer, Now Evading Questions

After being shrouded in mystery for more than a year, No Man's Sky has finally met its release date. The massive open-world space sim has become a hot topic among gamers as they've finally been able to explore the vast world to uncover its greatest secrets.

 

Among the game's secrets is how it handles multiplayer. It is known that players can name planets and animals that they discover before anyone else, but what has remained unknown is what happens when two players cross paths after traveling across the galaxy.

No Man's Sky's multiplayer interactions have been explained as something "incredibly rare", earning the interest of gamers in the process. For example, during a game demonstration on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Sean Murray stated (seen in the video below):

 

The only way for you to know what you look like is for somebody else to see you.

When asked by Colbert as to whether or not you can run into other people, Murray stated:

 

Yes, but the chances of that are incredibly rare just because the size of what we've built.

This same sort of answer was given many times during the course of No Man's Sky's development, even on the game's official Twitter account.

Naturally, players have felt compelled by the sheer difficulty of meeting up with another player, as it's very different from what other games offer. Goals are an incredibly important element of modern game design, and although reaching the center of a galaxy is certainly a goal, experiencing some form of interaction with other players is something that many gamers purchase the game hoping to experience. After all, many players don't want to leave their mark on the galaxy knowing that nobody will ever come across it.

As it turns out, there might not be any form of multiplayer in No Man's Sky. Yesterday evening two Twitch streamers managed to utilize a new ship scanning feature to arrive on the same planet at the same time. After running around for more than an hour trying to find each other, they came to the conclusion that they simply couldn't see each other. 

But surely it was a network issue or bug, right? Well, the response from the development team, Hello Games, doesn't point in that direction. Instead of directly addressing the concern of a growing number of gamers, they posted the following on Twitter:



 

Not a single answer was given for whether or not players will eventually be able to see each other, but rather deflection pointing toward "discoveries", which is a term used for the naming of planets and animals.

It's now been more than 16 hours since widespread discussion began about No Man's Sky's multiplayer, with more than 70 pages on NeoGAF, more than 2600 comments on Reddit, and much more. And yet there's still no response.

Some gamers have speculated that Hello Games is avoiding any clear identification of why the two players couldn't see each other because they don't want to impact pre-orders of the PC version, which will release this Friday. There could be some truth to that.

I personally have a friend who pre-ordered the game through Steam yesterday after seeing the launch hype. He messaged me asking about the game and whether or not I'd be playing it. Some time during the discussion I told him about the multiplayer controversy, which didn't make him very happy. You see, he is like millions of other gamers who find the social interaction of gaming to be its best asset. He has since canceled his pre-order and stated he felt "deceived" after spending $60.

This is just one of many gamers right now who feel that the game might just be something different than they expected. And that's not to say that No Man's Sky isn't a great game. As a matter of fact, it's being appreciated by many gamers who came in simply wanting to relax and explore a vast universe. But, like the similarly ambitious Elite: Dangerous ended up being at launch, it might be a lot more shallow than it suggests.

At this point what gamers want is a concrete answer as to why the two streamers couldn't see each other in the game world. For all we know it could be a bug given that this is the only known interaction in the game's history. But judging by the way Hello Games is responding to the backlash, the outcome of this controversy is unlikely to be positive.

 


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