Promising the Earth: No Man’s Sky
Paul Kilduff-Taylor

Mmm. Reading some of your replies to these comments has been a bit… disappointing.

“ Why do you have to buy a game on its release date if you’re significantly unsure about its content?”

Who was significantly unsure about its content? Sean Murray sure wasn’t. Ever. There’s a difference between being enthusiastic and not knowing that 80% of your claimed features won’t be in the game — 4 months from release no less.

Anyway, can we excuse the lame “blame the consumer for buying video games based on trusting people who have been consistent and shown off the features they claim they have in their game for years” argument? I mean, even in a world where the Mental Olympics took place and you went home with a gold… I picked up the game on Steam, where a refund after playing is no problem. It’s zero-risk aside from waiting a couple of days for the refund to process.

But when or why I buy a game is not the argument. It’s a deflection. The discussion is not why I decided to purchase a game; it’s why the hell we got a gutted game and no communication, to this very goddamned minute, there’s no communication. Hello Games remains silent aside from patting themselves on the back. Awesome.

All this tells me is that they’re incompetent. They don’t understand or don’t care why people are upset. This sort of response after release is all the evidence of deceit I need. Oh, “nerfed planet rotation because people are stupid and got confused,” I’m sorry Sean, did you mean to say that you never had rotating planets or orbital models because your planets hang in the sky like a diorama, and there is no actual sun to orbit?

It’s a lie. There was never any planet rotation. There was never any orbital model. Sean Murray openly mocked other developers for using skyboxes, and yet that’s all he delivered us. Maybe his ego got too big for his britches, maybe he was as a starry-eyed child, dreaming up his perfect game.

Reality needs to set it in at some point. You’re selling a product. You are attempting to convince people to part with their hard-earned money (and $60 is no pittance) in exchange for goods and services. Do you know why false advertising is illegal? Because when it wasn’t, everyone did it. You had to navigate a web of lies to find any product worth a damn. You do not sell your product based on misinformation. If you’re not 100% sure something is in the game, you should say “We’re TRYING to have this in.” Not “Yes. Absolutely, we’ll have that.” I don’t even produce video games and I fucking know that features get cut, how could Sean Murray not?! That’s why people believed him, there were no ifs, and or buts. Just hard-line “Yes” responses, no hesitation, huge grin on his face, that’s a man who’s confident in his product. That’s a man smiling because of the game in his mind, not in his dev kit.

Someone at some point on the team should’ve yanked him off-screen with a long cane like in old cartoons and told him to stop promising the world, because it would only hurt the game in the end.

You can talk about how the consumer is at fault and needs to “read between the lines” (What the fuck? Are you serious?) all you want. But the bottom line is Sean Murray and his now tens of millions of dollars do not need your defense. They do not need you to explain why it was or was not technically a “lie.”

They’ve profited off of deception. That doesn’t need a defense from anyone in the world. It needs condemnation. It needs outrage, because we can’t keep selling products on hopes and dreams.

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