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PlayStation studio head: too much was promised in ‘No Man’s Sky’

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Hello Games’ No Man’s Sky is an enormous experiment in game scale and procedural generation, and it’s especially impressive given the small size of the development team. After its launch in August, however, some were disappointed with its relatively shallow gameplay and lack of focus, and Sony Worldwide Studios head Shuhei Yoshida places most of the blame for this on the small British developer.

Speaking to Eurogamer at TGS, Yoshida said that he could “appreciate why others” may have been let down by No Man’s Sky given the promises Hello Games made in the years leading up to its release.

“I understand some of the criticism especially [creative director] is getting, because he sounded like he was promising more features in the game from day one,” Yoshida said. “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.”

Planetary physics, deep factions, large-scale space battles, ringed planets, named ships, and radio chatter are among the features that Hello Games had discussed in the time before No Man’s Sky launched, and though the studio is working to implement additional elements in the future, some buyers have already requested refunds.

Sony has not changed its refund policy, saying that “No Man’s Sky will continue to evolve and benefit from new features over the coming months, and as such, we are not making any exceptions to our standard refund policy.”

No Man’s Sky was the second biggest launch in the PlayStation 4’s history — behind only Uncharted 4 — but its numbers have not remained as impressive over time, especially on PC. Just two weeks after the game launched, its simultaneous player base had already dropped by 90 percent.

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