Whoa, whoa, whoa… lower your pitchforks. Allow me to clarify, I don’t think No Man’s Sky will be a disappointment. But I do think far too many people have gotten themselves too hyped up for a game which can’t possibly live up to expectations, because those expectations are unachieveable.

The problem developers always encounter, whether their game is big or small, is that gamers love to project their imagination on a game and then just assume that this will be in the game. For example, let’s say there’s a game in which you build houses. Players will suddenly start assuming that you can live in the houses, and live a life, even though the game doesn’t mention or imply this in any of it’s marketing materials. Obviously this is an extreme example, but hopefully you get the point.

This can be a good thing and a bad thing. It’s good because it gets people talking about the game, gets people excited and helps drive hype. It can end up being a bad thing though when the game launches, and people see that the game is nothing like they imagined. When marketing a game it’s important to balance the two to ensure things don’t get out of control.

Unfortunately I’ve seen a lot of this type of projection on No Man’s Sky, and I am genuinely worried about what the aftermath will be once the game launches.

I personally think that No Man’s Sky will be a good game, after all I don’t really have any reason to believe otherwise. From everything I’ve seen nothing makes me think “Uh-Oh”. I’m just going to get the game, play it for what it is and review it appropriately. I, somewhat purposefully, haven’t been rigorously following the game for this very reason. From the second it was announced it had nothing but hype and fan-fair surrounding it and having been in the industry for a long time, I know that it’s best to distance myself from that type of excitement. A lot of gamers though don’t do that level of hype-management, which just ends up with them feeling betrayed.

The thing which makes No Man’s Sky so susceptible to this level of hype-generation is the core concept itself. Set in space, travelling to different worlds… it’s ripe for letting the imagination go wild. Indeed, that’s part of the appeal of No Man’s Sky. I just hope that when gamers finally get their hands on the game, they don’t let their projection of what the game should be get in the way of what the game actually is.

If that ends up being the case then Hello Games could have a lot of problems on their hands post-launch and a perfectly good game could be marred by misplaced hopes and dreams.


  1. Here’s an idea… How about you lead by example in “hype Management” by changing the flamebait headline. You are deliberately fueling the “hype” train – in this case, with negative hype by intentionally using a click-bait headling insinuating that the game will be a dissapointment simply by the fact that it has gone gold – “the disappointment has begun”. Really?

    What is your role as a games journalist? To fish for clicks? To inflame petty fanboyism? To present unbiased opinions of games? If it is to present unbiased opinions of games, then you’ve failed to present yourself as unbiased. It is not possible for your “review” to be unbiased, since you have already stated your bias in the headline. Why else did you use that headline afterall?

    Here’s another idea, why don’t we reserved judgement on if the game will be dissapointing or not, until we actually get to play the game for ourselves! You have not played the game, and therefore are as uninformed as anyone else. What facts do you use to back up your claim that “the dissapointment has begun”? Why are you not saying “the excitement has begun,” especially since your concern seems to be that people are in fact excited and “hyped” for this game? Theire hype and excitement might be payoff, and the game might be a critical hit, surpassing all expectations.

    There is just as much chance of this being true as well, bu tyou’ve chosen prejudice and bias, instead of optimism and fairness.

    You should not champion prejudice of any sort, especially when a small dedicated team of devs are working hard to make something innovative. Do you think you are doing the games industry any favours if people don’t buy No Man’s Sky, because you’ve told them that it will be a dissapointment – before the game is even released? Should we not champion innovation anymore, should we not want to see independednt developers succeed, should we not support them even when their indie titles are way out in left field?

    I’m not dissapointed with what Hello Games are trying to create. Especially with such a small team, they are trying to push the boundaries of creativity, proceedural programming and sound design, exploration and non-linear open world meta narratives. I am not dissapointed with No Man’s Sky at all. I am dissapontied with the small minded games journalists who can’t see past their entitled fanboyisms, and who are wholly ignorant of the innovations that move the industry forward. Instead of cheering for its success, you’re proclaiming its demise.

    • Hey Mike, I appreciate your concern!

      I think you’ll find that the article isn’t about me thinking the game will be a disappointment or casting judgement on it.

      Instead it’s about how some “fans” will inevitably be disappointed when they play the game due to their projection of what the game should be, rather than what the game actually is. I am not discrediting the game nor offering an opinion on it, unbaised or otherwise.

      I think hype projection is something incredibly important to talk about as gamers appear to suffer a great deal from it (as well as many other types of projection).

      Also I appreciate your passion for No Man’s Sky (maybe the article is relevant here), but there’s no need to be so aggressive. The amazing developers at Hello Games are adults, I can guarantee you they can take discussion about their game (especially when it’s not even direct criticism).

      Thank you for taking the time to reply, I really appreciate it! There’s nothing I value more than the opinions of our readers.

      Kind regards,


      • Hey Josh,

        My point is that with articles such as these, you are contibuting to the very hype that you claim to be so concerned about. Furthermore you are deliberatley generating negative hype. Firstly, you need to recognise and take responsibility for this.

        Secondly you are claiming that fans will be dissappointed, based on an unfounded assumption that they are expecting more from the game than has been shown. Joshua – this is a fallacy that is being propagated by those such as yourself, primarly to flame negative hype, and stimulate discussion by baiting fans of the game, with clickbait headlines.

        Here’s a novel idea for you to seriously consider – maybe the people who are excited for this game know exactly what they will be getting, based on the numerous videos, interviews, and gamplay trailers that have been shown. Maybe it is what has been shown, and what is known about No Man’s Sky that is so exciting to them.

        In the numerous interviews with Seam Murray, he goes to lengths explaining exactly what this game is Not, and exactly what gamers should Not expect from No Man’ Sky. Sean Murray has done all he can to temper those expectations; such as in regard to multiplayer, pvp, base building, the starting planet being barren etc etc

        So, for those fans who have been following this game, they are well informed and are hyped and excited for the game Sean Murray has explained and shown. They are not expecting something else – that is the fallacy. It is game journalists like yourself that have come out claiming that fans of No Man’s Sky are expecting something unrealistic that hasn’t been shown or stated – like what exactly?

        What is it exactly that indicates that the expectations of the game are unrealistic and/or unfouned?

        The game is proceedurally generated, and this will mean certain constraints and limitations, such as pattern repetition in the game. Fine, this is understood and accepted. There will be no traditional multiplayer, or co-op, this is also known and accepted. It will take hours and hours to get to the centre of the galaxy, and players will have to mine, trade, craft, explore, upgrade their ship, learn alien languages, meet new factions, fight pirates etc etc. This is all known and expected. This is a realistic expectation of what the game will be.

        The problem is that you and alot of games journalist are “projecting” that this game will be dissapointing. You have titled your article with those very words. You’re claim that you are not “discrediting the game nor offering an opinion on it, unbaised or otherwise,” is blatantly false, becasue you have deliberately used a headline that states that game will be a dissapointment.

        If you were indeed ubiased, your headline would have also been unbiased. But it is not. You are therefore propagating and projecting negative hype. You are doing the very thing you are claiming to be “concerned” about with No Man’s Sky fans.