When Hello Games officially confirmed that its highly-anticipated space adventure survival game had been delayed from June to August earlier this week, many were disappointed with the announcement. Although delays are not unusual in the gaming industry, the decision did spark extremely hostile reactions from some overly zealous fans.
After the delay was made official, the game’s creative director Sean Murray revealed that he received “loads of death threats” throughout the week in which his game was rumoured and then confirmed to be delayed.
Even Kotaku’s Jason Schrier, who first broke news of the delay citing retail sources, was also reportedly at the receiving end of at least one death threat and severe backlash from fans who even blamed him for causing the delay and “forcing Sony’s hand” with his article.
In a PlayStation Blog post on 27 May, Murray confirmed that the ambitious sprawling space exploration game would be delayed beyond its upcoming June release date to a 9 August release date for the PS4 and PC.
“As we approached our final deadlines, we realised that some key moments needed extra polish to bring them up to our standards. I have had to make the tough choice to delay the game for a few weeks to allow us to deliver something special,” Murray wrote.
“We understand that this news is disappointing. Making this game is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, but we are so close now, and we’re prepared to make the tough choices to get it right.”
He also took to Twitter to apologise to fans as well, noting that the team could not talk about the release date’s delay due to legal and external reasons.
Unfortunately, receiving death threats is not a new phenomenon in the gaming industry.
In 2004, Metal gear creator Hideo Kojima received death threats and sparked fan uproar when he initially announced plans to step away from the development of Metal Gear Solid 4. In 2012, developer Ninja Theory also drew death threats for its reboot of Devil May Cry.
First announced in 2013, No Man’s Sky is one of the most anticipated games in recent years, featuring an expansive, procedurally generated universe with over 18 quintillion planets waiting to be explored.
“The universe of No Man’s Sky is incredibly vast,” wrote Murray. “More than you can imagine. This is a type of game that hasn’t been attempted before, by a smaller team than anyone would expect, under an intense amount of expectation. And despite all of that, development is genuinely going well.”
No Man’s Sky is set to release on 9 August in North America, 10 August in Europe and 12 August in the UK for PS4 and PC.