So the rumor of a delay that had been swirling round the internet for the past few days has proven to be true. First revealed by Kotaku on Wednesday, the release of No Man’s Sky has indeed slipped by a few weeks. It is now releasing on August 9th in the US, August 10th in Europe and August 12th in the UK.
The news was officially confirmed around 7pm EST on Friday evening in a blog post written by Sean Murray on the Sony Playstation Blog site. According to Sean, although the game development has gone really well there were certain key moments in the game that just needed (and deserved) that extra polish. They were unable to deliver these within the original release time frame. You get a definite sense that Hello Games are striving for near perfection with No Man’s Sky and are unwilling to let anything compromise that vision. It is a credit to them that they have taken this bold decision, knowing that it would prove unpopular in some quarters. As legendary game developer Shigeru Miyamoto once said “A delayed game is eventually good. A bad game is bad forever”. None of us want No Man’s Sky to end up in that state.
In this age of early access and crowd-funding campaigns, developers are under increasing pressure to release games early or without regard to the final quality in order to hit self-imposed deadlines (deadlines often set to satisfy the demands of the gaming community). This often leads to buggy, glitchy releases requiring numerous patches over months and years to correct and finally deliver a quality product. Indeed, some early access games remain in alpha/beta and never progress beyond that before being abandoned by the development team. Hello Games have made no secret that they do not want No Man’s Sky to fall into this trap. Rather than release something they are not 100% happy with, they have chosen to delay.
Worth the wait
So whilst it pains us to hear the game is delayed, we must appreciate that we are only waiting an additional 7 weeks. This may make the difference between a merely good experience and a truly great one that will last a lifetime. It’s clear that Sean is absolutely passionate about No Man’s Sky–he’s been dreaming of this game almost his entire life. From Hello Games perspective, they get one shot at making an impression with it and don’t want to mess that up. I would implore people to take a step back, consider how much more polish Hello Games can add with the additional 2 months development time, and hopefully realize we will be getting a better game for it.