An eagle-eyed No Man’s Sky player has discovered that the game’s European limited edition box features a curiously placed sticker that hides an icon advertising “online play,” suggesting that Sony and developer Hello Games are downplaying its promised set of online features.
The discovery arrives after some early adopters unsuccessfully attempted to meet up with one another within the game’s universe, leading many to believe that No Man’s Sky includes no multiplayer options despite prerelease claims to the contrary.
This week’s anonymously distributed photographs reveal that the No Man’s Sky‘s limited edition box in Europe initially featured a Pan European Game Information (PEGI) rating of 12, with a content warning for mild violence (PEGI is an Entertainment Software Rating Board equivalent). Alongside these two indicators is a separate icon reserved for games that offer online options when players connect to the PlayStation Network. Buyers aren’t meant to see this information, however, as a concealing sticker placed on top of this information is amended to feature a PEGI 7 rating while omitting the online play icon completely.
Retail boxes for video games are often produced long before the games themselves wrap up development, leading some publishers to hastily patch over inaccurate content warning labels with corrective stickers prior to shipment. This particular case takes the unusual step of removing an advertised feature entirely, suggesting that No Man’s Sky‘s creators are backing away from pre-release claims regarding online multiplayer.
While No Man’s Sky is built primarily as single-player experience, it allows players to name planets they encounter across its procedurally generated universe. Named planets can then be seen by other players in the event that they’re traveling within the same star system.
Developer Hello Games did not reveal many details regarding No Man’s Sky multiplayer features in the weeks leading up to launch, but studio founder Sean Murray discussed the subject in an episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert aired last year. When Colbert quizzed Murray regarding the possibility of players meeting up on a planet in No Man’s Sky, Murray responded, “Yes, but the chances of that are incredibly rare just because of the size of what we’re building.”
Murray has since clarified that No Man’s Sky includes “online features and some Easter Eggs to create cool moments,” but has not commented regarding the presence of synchronous online multiplayer functionality.
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