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No Man's Sky is five years old now. It had some teething troubles, with the sheer scale of the premise and the capabilities of the team, yet it's grown to become beloved by gamers of all stripes. To celebrate its anniversary, Hello Games has looked back on the development of the game and revealed what's on the horizon for the community.
"Our journey really started from the moment we stepped out nervously on the Sony stage at E3 2014 to share the first gameplay of our ambitious project," said Sean Murray, founder of the studio, in a post to the PlayStation Blog. "It was months after we had our office flooded, and it felt like a small triumph to still be standing as a team." Indeed, there were an average of six employees over the course of No Man's Sky's five-year development, and at launch, there were only 15 people who made up the entirety of Hello Games.
Watch the fifth anniversary update trailer below, which reflects on the journey that the game and the team have taken to earn the success that No Man's Sky now enjoys.
To thank the community and to honour the highs and lows that the game has experienced over the years, Hello Games has announced that players will look forward to a new free update titled Frontiers. "In some ways it is just another update, but in other ways it's a missing piece of the sci-fi fantasy that we've always wanted to add, and very fitting for our fifth anniversary," added Murray.
This is actually the seventeenth free update to No Man's Sky. Yes, 17. One, seven. The first was Foundation and this allowed players to define a home planet and build a base from the resources harvested on their adventures. No Man's Sky Next brought a fully-fledged multiplayer mode, Abyss plunged players into aquatic environments, Origins doubled the number of possible procedural variations in the environments, Companions introduced adorable alien pets, and Prisms improved the kaleidoscopic visuals of the game. In short: it's been a brilliant time to be a man with no sky.
Of course, as well as supporting No Man's Sky, the developer has its nose to the grindstone on "a huge, ambitious game" in the vein of the sci-fi adventure. "We're in a lucky position that this has been mostly a creative endeavour," said Sean Murray in an interviewin 2020. "It's very different if you're an indie studio who is so reliant on how people will perceive your game in the first 30 seconds."
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