No Man's Sky Designer Quietly Jumps to Star Citizen

While Hello Games continues to deal with No Man's Sky's life support, one of its designers has quietly jumped ship to another highly publicized and similarly troubled space game.

It has been quite a hard year for No Man's Sky developer Hello Games, and it seems that the developer is now hemorrhaging talent. While those still on board are laying low and continuing to work on the game, longtime designer Gareth Bourn has reportedly jumped ship to Foundry 42, a subsidiary of Star Citizen developer Cloud Imperium Games.

According to his LinkedIn page, he made the switch last month without giving any sign of the move. Foundry 42 is currently working on Squadron 42, a single-player module for Star Citizen that's described by developers as a "spiritual successor to Wing Commander". The UK-based studio is being supervised by Erin Roberts, the brother of Cloud Imperium founder Chris Roberts.

Some found Bourn's career move to be rather peculiar, as Star Citizen is also a highly ambitious and massively hyped space game with a rather troubled development cycle thus far. Indie space game designer Derek Smart certainly thought it was funny.

Mind you, Derek Smart is famous for making the 1996 game Battlecruiser 3000AD, which is also a space game that underdelivered on its promises of an immersive space experience. Bourn replied to the tweet with:

"Gee thanks man. Real nice of you."

Star Citizen and Squadron 42 are currently being produced and distributed development by Cloud Imperium Games and Foundry 42, spread throughout its studios in Austin, Santa Monica, Frankfurt, and Wilmslow. So far, the game's release has been repeatedly postponed, which has been a source of ridicule due to its lofty promises and marketing hype not unlike that of No Man's Sky.

However, it does seem like Star Citizen doubles down on this hype by having famous Hollywood actors in the game, like a more modern version of Wing Commander—it even has Mark Hamill in it. Being a space game that crosses multiple genres featuring a star-studded cast with a budget surpassing $130 million from crowdfunding makes it poised for either meteoric success or colossal failure and nowhere in between.

Meanwhile, rumors continue to circulate regarding Hello Games' current status since the fallout of No Man's Sky's successful-turned-disastrous launch. Amid the radio silence, Hello Games seems to be hanging tough and continually working on the game to make it better.

Perhaps someday, it'll actually fulfill the promises that lead developer Sean Murray once spoke of in talk shows and other media appearances, but they'll have to do it without Gareth Bourn.


I'm an amusement engineer.

Published Nov. 16th 2016

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