In an interview with GamesRadar+, No Man’s Sky creator Sean Murray has suggested developers of games as a service titles with a troubled launch, such as Fallout 76 and Anthem, to stay silent after the release if they don’t have anything significant already online that could give them enough credibility in front of their users.
“Talking about features when a game’s already out isn’t that credible or interesting. Your actions are so much more important than what you say,” Murray shared and had already talked about that topic in a keynote at Brighton’s Develop conference.
“We went about two years without talking to press at all”, he said when reminding of all the troubles No Man’s Sky had back in the days, and how Hello Games was able to get out of them working a lot and speaking very, very little with the community and the press (if at all).
“And we went about three months without saying anything to the community either. That was really hard. I sat down so many times and wrote the perfect blog post that was going to explain everything about the game’s development, and the road map going ahead. But I could see that it didn’t hold credibility with regards to where we were at.”
“There have been a number of games that have since come out, had a polarising launch, and that explosive mix of loads of people playing it but also problems,” Murray said about those who have come later. “And I can see EA, Microsoft, or Bethesda try to placate players by just talking to them, but for right or wrong, it just doesn’t really work. You see this all the time when a big publisher will talk to the community and try to solve the problem and then get embroiled, taking up more and more of its head space.”
Weird enough, each time a GaaS releases you think that it will learn from the past mistakes, but that happens very rarely: every time you get an early access title that will take around one year to reach a decent status, and the sole exception to that rule has been, I think, The Division 2. Sure enough, the genre will need to consider this if it wants to be trusted again by players.