Would It Have Been Better if No Man’s Sky Released in Early Access?

No Man’s Sky has been met with a tremendous amount of backlash as the community behind it learned that the game did not make good on promises. Hello Games’ Sean Murray has been the largest target of the frenzied fans hungry to get their refunds. You can find a myriad of videos showing the so called “lies” Murray spewed as he hyped the game. I’m not writing to debate if they were lies, but I will say that things he said were pretty grand and spectacular.

Just one of the many videos making the rounds.

A user on Reddit by the name of /u/MeetWayneKerr made a post listing the amount of features missing as well. The user deleted their account, but you can find an archived version of the list here:  here: https://web.archive.org/web/20160818004423/https://www.reddit.com/r/NoMansSkyTheGame/comments/4y4i3a/wheres_the_nms_we_were_sold_on_front_page/

This morning while scrolling through Twitter I came across an article by MMOFallout. In the article it talks about the extreme drop in player count for the PC version of No Man’s Sky. It also delves into how it has “broke the refund policy.” Sony, Amazon, and Valve are refunding purchases of the game. It’s one of the first times I personally have heard Sony is refunding a video game. Truly, I never thought they would, but they have proved me wrong. I figured Amazon would be understanding because they issued refunds for the GTX 970 VRAM debacle. Valve…this is the interesting one to me. Valve, through Steam, has offered refunds for a little bit of time now and hey seem to be making exceptions to refunds for No Man’s Sky. Their policy usually sits at getting a refund for having 2 hours or less played of the game or  less than two weeks owned. You can read more about it in MMOFallout’s article if you want. Now…on to my suggestion.

I think Hello Games should have released No Man’s Sky into Early Access rather than as a full game. I say this because it exhibits all the signs of a good start for an Early Access game. The game works and has a loose narrative you can complete. You can mine. You can fly. You can do a lot of things, but there are features missing that were promised and seemingly hyped. At one point during marketing we got a glimpse of a giant sand snake which you can see below. At one point we were informed that you could play with friends. We also heard that planets become increasingly weird as you move toward the center of the galaxy. I have seen no evidence for that.

The tweet I included at the top indicates that Murray and his team at Hello Games intend to add features to the game. Hopefully, they don’t come through paid DLC avenues because players are already upset they had to pay $60 for what they consider to be an incomplete product. I have no clue if Hello Games could shift the game to Early Access now and I have no idea how that would go, but I think if they would have released the game from the get-go in Early Access there would be a little less disappointment. I doubt any of this could happen now because the marketing implied a full release. Also, Sony doesn’t have an Early Access program at the moment.

Hello Games have now garnered themselves a complicated relationship with the gaming community. Many people have a love-hate relationship with the game and many players who didn’t jump in right away are stuck wondering when, and if ever, will be the right time to buy. Hopefully, Hello Games have learned a valuable lesson here.

What do you think? Would Early Access have been better for No Man’s Sky?


Thanks to MMOFallout for the wonderful article that spurred my interest to write out a few thoughts of mine: http://mmofallout.com/no-mans-sky-the-game-that-broke-refund-policies/


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