Hello Games’ Sean Murray Advises Developers to Stay Quiet After Rough Launches

Sean Murray is Part of the ‘No Man’s Sky’ Team and Speaks from Experience

It may seem a distant memory now, but there was a time when No Man’s Sky did not perform well in the marketplace. Back in the times before fans paid for a positive message to be displayed on a billboard outside the developer’s office, No Man’s Sky did not sell well. Speaking about this during his keynote conference at Develop: Brighton, Sean Murray offers some advice for developers facing a tough launch. Simply put, Murray says that developers need to “stop talking”.

No Man's Sky Abyss Update

No Man’s Sky is a large and beautiful game, but it can be confusing and daunting to players. Hello Games had been promoting the game extensively and did a bad job of tempering the lofty expectations set before the release. In the face of negative feedback, the studio chose to remain silent. After an update propelled the game into a positive light, the studio only then opened up a dialogue with the gaming community.

Recently, the world has seen a fair share of games suffer a similar fate. Fallout 76 and Anthem are among the biggest games to have a failed launch. This makes Sean Murray’s story all the more relevant.

Murray says “We went about two years without talking to press at all and we went about three months without saying anything to the community, either. That was really hard. I sat down so many times and wrote the perfect blog post that was going to explain everything about the game’s development, and the road map going ahead. But I could see that it didn’t hold credibility with regards to where we were at.”

He continues, “I can see EA, Microsoft,or Bethesda try to placate players by just talking to them, but for right or wrong, it just doesn’t really work. You see this all the time when a big publisher will talk to the community and try to solve the problem and then get embroiled, taking up more and more of its head space.”

Essentially, Murray says to be like Kawhi Leonard and reveal nothing – play everything close to the chest. While it’s not a formula that may help everyone, it definitely offers an interesting take on how to best rescue a failing project.