No Man’s Sky did a lot of things. It broke some hearts, blew some minds and seemingly, pissed off whole lot of PC gamers. After only 2 weeks since launch, a huge number of PC users have just stopped playing.
After seeing highs of over 212,000 users, a mass migration has occurred away from the game, which, while normal for many titles post launch, very rarely do this many vanish in such a short space of time.
Most games suffer from the ‘dropout’ phenomenon in a similar scale, but most games don’t promise an ‘infinite’ variety of worlds and ‘endless’ content to explore. Most games tend to have a linear selection of entertainment to enjoy in a few hours before throwing up the definitive end of the game and a credits screen. The game’s own hype could very well be the cause.
While these statistics in no way represent the majority of those playing NMS out there (as PC players are vastly outnumbered by console owners), it does show an ominous shift in attitudes towards the game.
For many, getting their hands of the final version was an exercise in general disappointment, after huge numbers of vocal community members expressed outrage that the game was intrinsically shallow and lacked a number of promised features.
With no multiplayer to speak of, repetitive gameplay and very activities little outside of exploring to keep long term players on their journey, many lost their interest rapidly.
But why is the PC version taking such a hit? Performance and stability were below the expected standard of quality, with a number of bugs/glitches and more to further sour the experience. Combine that with the complaints many had with the core experience and you have a pretty convincing answer to this mystery.
Hype is a nasty word that always makes games worse than they really are, because expectations quickly become far too grand for what the actual experience will be. NMS threw itself into the public eye with some seriously hard-core claims about what the game would be, claims that a small studio could never really fulfill. If Peter Molyneux never once managed to live up to this claims with a huge surplus of funding and a experienced team behind him, how could we expect Hello Games to deliver.
We loved the game, but hard truths are exactly that; hard truths. This was always going to happen, so try not to be too shocked this time.