No Man's Sky's Success Could Be A Game Changer
No Man's Sky makes its debut today as one of the most highly anticipated indie titles to be released this year. Sean Murray, the CEO of the Hello Games, has stated that the success of this game could bridge the gap between indie developers and major publishers. Hello Games has published games in that past that have been relatively low priced games such as Joe Danger and Joe Danger 2: The Movie, whereas No Man's Sky competes with its AAA peers at the average $60 price mark. Living up to the expectations they have been building up for the last three years is the primary goal of Hello Games, and their efforts shine through in their work and willingness to interact day to day with their community.
The power this game holds lies within its ability to inextricably market ambiguity along with the allure of exploring seemingly infinite amounts of planets. Sean Murray's promise of never ending game content and hours of exploration is what has driven the hype behind No Man's Sky parallel to the allure of discovering what lies at the center of the galaxy.
Hello Games is the underdog of indie gaming in an AAA dominated market. In an AmA over on Reddit yesterday, Sean Murray discussed the development of the game. Pertaining to whether or not the developers kept an eye on /r/nomansskythegame, Murray stated:
"Some of the team read it for sure, and then post me the weirdest stuff. OK so I'll admit there have been times, my lowest on the project, where I've looked at the subreddit and it's cheered me up and kept me going. But there have been times I've looked on there and despaired - and just thought "how can we ever live up to the expectations of people who having been waiting for this game for 3 years"
Obviously, a lot of work and an insurmountable amount of time has gone into carefully crafting this game, and a lot is riding on its reception following today's release. Besides the mental toll No Man's Sky has taken on Murray and his time, he's discussed how without the support of the community, the project would not have survived.
Ideally, he would have wanted to develop the game secretly to create a scenario where Hello Games could have announced No Man's Sky one day and released the next. That is to say; its success is reliant on the symbiotic relationship Murray and Hello Games have cultivated with their consumer base.
Sony, the front-runner for this game, was only involved as far insomuch as marketing, but otherwise, as Murray states:
"Sony has been super cool to work with, but mainly just because they haven't been involved in development, you know? We're still sort of the underdog with Sony, and in the general AAA (for obvious reasons). People generally think of [No Man's Sky] as a Sony title, but we're still just a self funded indie studio."
Should Hello Games' efforts prove successful, then the relationship between indie developers and major publishers completely change. It would open the door to more creative, diverse, and consumer-driven IPs creating a more consumer-driven market catered to niche tastes and unique titles.