It’s been tough to pull even a vague release window out of No Man’s Sky developer Hello Games, or its biggest backer, Sony. Signs are starting to suggest that it might be ramping up for a surprise release as early as October 27. Of this year.
The game was first announced two years ago, so it’s been in development for quite a while. Inverse reports that, in addition to rumors this weekend of an early release being prepped, at least one Amazon UK customer has seen an expected delivery of October 27 of this year. Then there’s the fact that Hello Games’ Sean Murray was on Stephen Colbert’s late night show this last week. Appearances on high profile shows are usually accompanied by having a product to promote rather than something without even a vague release window.
That’s all pretty circumstantial, though, and I’m of two minds on this.
On the one hand, Sony and Hello Games have been pushing No Man’s Sky for quite a while, and if the game takes too much longer to come out, they risk exhaustion. People could lose interest completely, or it could even become a joke like Duke Nukem Forever or Daikatana. Probably not, but both are demonstrations of the risks of overly promoting a game for too long. Unless there are some major features the developers is keeping from us, we’ve seen just about everything we can see in preview, and any more of it risks taking away from the joy of discovery that forms the base of the game’s fun. Sony and Hello Games need to get this game out soon.
On the other, the game industry hasn’t caught onto the surprise release trend that other entertainment industries are experimenting with yet. Typically a game’s release involves setting a firm release date months ahead of time, announcing collectors editions, season passes, beta tests and things like that to get the proverbial hype train running at full steam. The game would also be hitting the same day as Halo 5: Guardians if that release date is accurate. That could be seen as dangerous competition to go against from one perspective, or No Man’s Sky could be a great way to try to redirect some hype away from Microsoft on one of the biggest days of the year.
I don’t see No Man’s Sky dropping this month, but I’d love to be wrong.