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No Man’s Sky Review Copies Were Delayed…and That is Okay

Mason Sylvia

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week—or are deliberately avoiding any potential, unwelcomed spoilers—then you will have heard about the debacle leading up to the launch of Hello Games’ ambitious and procedurally generated world of No Man’s Sky. You might remember a well-discussed incident regarding a gamer’s decision to spend over $1,000 on a two-week early copy of the game off of eBay who uploaded a wealth of gameplay footage and text-based information before removing the content at the behest of Sean Murray, the founder of Hello Games. The development team was hard at work creating a day-one patch for the game that will allegedly add lots of new features, balancing and content. In lieu of this update, Hello Games have decided to delay the release of review copies to media outlets to ensure that any reviews are based on what will essentially be the finished version of the game, for all intents and purposes.

Sean Murray posted on his Twitter account this weekend, “If you are reviewing/playing our game without our update, on a leaked copy, then please don’t. It’s not what players will experience.”

A great many gamers have expressed their support and understanding in Hello Games’ decision to do so, but a good number of gamers on the other side of the coin have expressed their disappointment and frustration, upset that they will have to wait longer to make a purchasing decision without the assistance of their favorite media outlet. It’s perfectly understandable, really—gamers really look forward to picking up a game either at launch or during the first week, but a lot of gamers will not make a purchasing decision whilst essentially blind. No Man’s Sky has been in the middle of a circle of both hype and skepticism and gamers are rightfully concerned and unsure of whether or not this seemingly tantalizing experience will match the hype or prove worth its asking price.

Some media outlets themselves have publicly declared their frustration and called out Hello Games on a “poor decision” or “mediocre excuse.” I will not point fingers or call out these media outlets, but there is a really large sense of entitlement here. I might be the unpopular opinion, but being a media outlet eligible for a review copy of a game does not entitle you to getting the game early. I think this tradition or practice has embedded itself into the wrong section of some individuals’ minds and get them thinking that they require an early copy of a game to experience and review it before the game hits shelves. In my opinion, I don’t see Hello Games’ decision as a poor one at all. The day one patch that they’ve finished adds significant changes to No Man’s Sky and if early copies were sent out to the press without that update, players would read reviews based on a version of the game that they will not be experiencing. Without the update, media outlets would essentially be reviewing an outdated version of the game, and that is of no help to anyone. You should swallow that overwhelming mouthful of pride and be grateful you’re even getting access to a review copy of the game at all. It’s a privilege, not a right.

Hello Games have finished the day one patch and it has gone live. A good number of media outlets have their hands on review copies of the game as of today and a handful of them, including Eurogamer, have promised day-one impressions at the very least, to give concerned or skeptical gamers something to use as a foundation for making a purchasing decision until their reviews are complete and live. You can expect a review from NerdBite when it’s ready, and we’ll have some impressions live tomorrow.

No Man’s Sky launches tomorrow, August 9, on PlayStation 4 and on August 12, on PC.

Video game enthusiast, James Bond aficionado, Tomb Raider expert, and lover of Beefeater gin. I'm a creature of habit and I'm either found buried in a book or working through my video game backlog when I'm not working my accounting specialist day job.

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