Shuhei Yoshida on No Man’s Sky: “It Wasn’t a Great PR Strategy”
Following the launch of No Man’s Sky last month, players quickly discovered that it didn’t include any multiplayer features, despite Hello Games Founder Sean Murray saying players would be able to find each other. In a new interview with Eurogamer at Tokyo Game Show, Sony Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida said he really enjoyed No Man’s Sky, but admitted that the PR strategy wasn’t great:
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. But he says their plan is to continue to develop No Man’s Sky features and such, and I’m looking forward to continuing to play the game.
Because of the missing features, many buyers asked Sony for refunds. While reports surfaced that people who played for upwards of 40 hours were able to get their money back, Sony has been sending out this message to those requesting refunds:
We are aware of comments online from some players expressing disappointment with the release features of No Man’s Sky. During the development process, the game changed and evolved based on thousands of hours of user testing and feedback on what worked and what didn’t to bring you the best gameplay experience and the most fun. Hello Games made choices during this development which they believed would provide the best experience for the players. No Man’s Sky was intended to be something unique, vast and inventive, and we feel Hello Games delivered that. They are also working to ensure that No Man’s Sky will continue to evolve and benefit from new features over the coming months, and as such, we are not making any exceptions to our standard refund policy.
The statement adds that they’re aware of glitches players experience upon the initial release, but since then “Hello Games have been working hard to release a number of patches to address those glitches.” Because of these post-launch patches, they reiterate that “we will not be making exceptions to our standard refund policy.”
As for Sony’s role with No Man’s Sky, they were the publisher of the PS4 retail release, while Hello Games handled the digital releases on PS4 and PC. Asked if he thinks it harmed the PlayStation brand at all, Shuhei said he’s “super happy” with the game and amazed with the sales so far, “so I’m not the right person to judge if it has ‘harmed’ the PlayStation brand. I personally don’t think so. If anything, I am proud that people can play No Man’s Sky on PS4 as well as PC.”