No Man’s Sky Developer Hello Games Expected 14,000 Players at Launch on PC, Saw 250,000
During his GDC 2017 presentation yesterday, Hello Games founder Sean Murray revealed that he’s been “busy working on a current update to No Man’s Sky.” Not much is known about the update, but Murray did say the team is still working on tweaking the produceral generation for No Man’s Sky terrain.
Elsewhere in his talk (via Ars Technica), Murray revealed that, when they were doing pre-launch testing, the team estimated No Man’s Sky would see around 14,000 players on launch day – the same number of concurrent players Far Cry Primal saw on Steam. “It’s a huge game, obviously,” he said. “That [number] made us a little bit nervous about servers and the sheer number of people booting the game up day one.”
Instead, No Man’s Sky saw 250,000 concurrent players on PC on day one (with 1% reporting crash dump data), and an additional 250,000 concurrent players on PlayStation 4 at the same time, with 500 million discoveries being uploaded. This was too much for the “networking team,” which Murray said consisted of just one person at the time.
“It was on par with games I’d launched before, like Burnout, but we were just operating at a different scale,” he added. “It was far beyond what I’d experienced before, in terms of people playing a game.”
Murray didn’t give an updated player count for No Man’s Sky, but he did say last year’s Foundation Update has been downloaded by one million players.
Looking back on the development of No Man’s Sky, Murray said Hello Games was “running out of money” at one point, and the project initially started out as a fun hobby for him. “Then we showed it, we showed the first trailer, and from then on it was like… we were building a rocket ship on the way up, like, to the sun, being fired into the sun with the skin burning from our faces, right?” he added. “It was like, it was a bit of a rollercoaster ride from then on. But at the start it was genuinely just a hobby and something super enjoyable.”
Finally, Murray announced Hello Labs, which will help fund and support one or two projects (one is already in development) that are focused on procedural generation or experimentation.