Hello Games' space exploration and survival game No Man's Sky opened to much hype and fanfare in August. However, the game's launch came with its share of controversy, from technical difficulties and bugs, to complaints about missing, previously promised features from irate fans.
In a recent interview at the Tokyo Games Show, President of Sony's Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida, said he understands some of the criticism from players who felt the game didn't deliver on what the marketing campaign promised prior to the launch.
"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," Yoshida told Eurogamer, referring to Hello Games' founder and creative director Sean Murray.
Yoshida said he "could see the struggle for the developers to get the game out in the state they wanted." Although he said he "really enjoyed" playing the game, he did sympathise with gamers who didn't necessarily feel the same way.
He also added that the developers' marketing strategy did not serve them well given the massive amount of hype built up prior to the game's release, adding that the indie studio should have turned to a public relations team to promote the game instead.
"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," Yoshida said. "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."
Although No Man's Sky was a PS4 console exclusive, Sony only published the game's disc-based retail version. The digital edition was published in house by Hello Games.
"I am super happy with the game actually, and I'm amazed with the sales the game has gotten, so I'm not the right person to judge if it has 'harmed' the PlayStation brand," Yoshida continued. "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."
In a development update posted on 2 September, the development team said they have been "inundated with feedback and discussion about No Man's Sky" since the release of No Man's Sky. The team also addressed fans' growing concerns about Hello Games' lack of communication and sporadic updates since the game's rocky launch, particularly on PC - Hello Games' Twitter account hasn't tweeted since 27 August, Murray's personal account has been quiet for almost a month now.
However, many disgruntled fans have demanded refunds over the game's missing features, technical woes and inconsistent marketing prior to the launch.
"No matter what feedback you gave us, you have been heard and we are listening carefully. Thank you," the team wrote. "What matters now, as always, is what we do rather than what we say. We're developers, and our focus is first on resolving any issues people have with the game as it is, then on future free updates which will improve, expand and build on the No Man's Sky universe."
Murray previously said that the team would shift its focus on developing and adding new features and content to the game after addressing all of its customer requests.
"This is a labour of love for us, and it's just the beginning," the team said.
Earlier this week, Sony announced that No Man's Sky was August's best selling game on the PlayStation Store.