The No Man's Sky Delay Isn't a Bad Thing

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Just last week I was talking to a friend about Non Man's Sky, the expansive space title from Hello Games. We talked about how long it has been in production and the ups and downs of its development. We also discussed how excited we were that it was so close to being released and what we were going to do when we got it. The next day, news broke that the game would be delayed until August. Like many others, I was disappointed that I wouldn't be able to zip from planet to planet for another two months. I didn't think it was a big deal. Apparently the internet disagrees.

I was really shocked to see the reactions to the news. First, when Jason Schrier from Kotaku broke the story, there was huge backlash from the worst parts of the community. People went ballistic about it on Twitter, Reddit and whatever little holes they could find in the internet. Jason was accused of fomenting hysteria, trying to create buzz for a book he has not even released yet and even had his and his family's lives threatened. Meanwhile, r/nomanssky was awash with ludicrous posts about mass calling Gamestops across the country to "put pressure on Sony." That's not how these things work, folks and I think you know that.

When the official announcement came, some people continued to focus their rage on Schreier, saying his supposedly made up story somehow made the actual thing happen. It's the kind of magical reasoning that sold millions of copies of The Secret. Others turned their gaze on Sean Murray and the small staff at Hello Games, sending death threats and numerous other bouts of thoughtless drivel their way. 

Things haven't really calmed down since then, but coverage of them has died down. Jason, Sean, members of the Hello Games and Kotaku crew, allow me to represent the majority of the No Man's Sky community in apologizing for the behavior of those who yelled at, raged and threatened you. These people do not represent the community as a whole. Most of us understand that delays are an unfortunate reality of game making. 

If an issue caused the delay, some bug discovered later than I'm sure anyone would like, whatever the reason, we'll live. I can name a slew of recent games that were launched with serious, game-breaking bugs in them or were launched with largely incomplete systems and content. I am thankful that the decision was made to delay the game to deal with bugs or fill out more content. I know many others share this sentiment.

Really what I'm trying to say, is that the reaction to the delay is a serious over reaction drive by an even more serious lack of understanding. No one is taking the game away, it just needs more time before it's really ready. The liquidity of the bullshit thrown by what I thought was a reasonable community is staggering. You're allowed to be upset, but you can't go throwing rocks and threatening the people making the game you want so badly. We have to stop allowing this kind of bullshit to happen whenever a game misses the mark by a bit or is delayed. Making games is hard enough without having anonymous assholes threatening your life over social media.