Who is really to blame over the “No Man’s Sky” controversy that prompted disgruntled gamers to ask for refunds? Sony’s Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida is pointing the finger at developer Sean Murray, who did a lot of publicity for the action-adventure survival game prior its release.
Yoshida did an interview with Eurogamer on Friday and he appeared to be putting the responsibility for the game’s criticisms to Murray, for they were mostly triggered by the latter’s PR strategy. Sony’s President also acknowledged that the indie developer did promise a lot of things that did not come with the game’s release.
“I understand some of the criticisms especially Sean Murray is getting, because he sounded like he was promising more features in the game from day one. 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,” Yoshida said.
“I had the opportunity to play the game right before launch — and I restarted playing the game on launch day with the Day One patch — so I could see the struggle for the developers to get the game out in the state that they wanted,” he added.
Backtracking a bit from his previous statement, Yoshida revealed that he is still playing “No Man’s Sky” because Murray has said that more features and improvements will be coming to the game as he continues to develop it.
“No Man’s Sky” debuted in August to high expectations that it would take players to an intergalactic adventure and enable them to explore over 18 quintillion procedurally generated planets. However, many players were quick to complain that the game did not live up to expectations with the absence of many of the promised features and the abundance of bugs.
In the days and weeks that followed, Hello Games struggled to keep up with the demand for fixes and updates while facing a large number of disgruntled players asking Sony and Steam for refunds. In the wake of the skyrocketing requests for refunds, former Sony director Shahid Ahmad called out gamers who played the game for over 50 hours but wanted to return it and labeled them as thieves.
Now that the controversy has significantly damaged “No Man’s Sky” reputation and the game is making headlines for all the wrong reasons, it may seem timely for Yoshida to point out Murray’s shortcomings. However, Forbes claims Sony should also take as much blame as Murray, for it failed to step in and provide guidance to Murray in the days that the developer conducted a lot of media publicity to promise features and gameplay mechanics that were not really part of the game’s official release.
Forbes also claims that with Sony’s PR pros, the pre-release hype over “No Man’s Sky” could have been controlled by sincerely revealing that what has been promised for the game did not translate to reality and accept partial responsibility over the fallout.
Do you think Sony could have done more to prevent the “No Man’s Sky” fiasco? Sound off in the comments below.