Sean Murray has done a lot of high profile interviews over the past few years. Following the reveal of No Man's Sky in late 2013, the bashfully enthusiastic developer was thrust into the mainstream limelight. Over the next two and a half years, his appearances rapidly escalated from press interviews, trade show stages, and even Steven Colbert's The Late Show. All while the fervent anticipation for No Man's Sky consistently rose towards it's August 2016 release date.
But when it did release, the story took a an accusatory and vitriolic turn, as the methodically concentrated gameplay didn't match the space adventure many had come to expect. At one point, a disgruntled user hacked Sean Murray's Twitter and Email account, telling news publications and fans that "No Man's Sky was a mistake"
But the real Sean Murray has been uncharacteristically quiet these past two years. Working alongside his small team at Hello Games, No Man's Sky has seen a series of applicable improvements and new features. Last year saw the introduction of vehicles, enhanced base building features, and a robustly revised single player mode.
With this month's No Man's Sky Next finally delivering true co-operative multiplayer and an engine overhaul to procedural generation, Sean Murray has finally returned to the interview chair. Speaking with Eurogamer, the embattled developer says he's learned from his PR mistakes but that hasn't slowed down his ambition.
On The Negative Reaction To No Man's Sky
We went through.... Well, you can use your imagination. you know what the internet can do. They crowdsource ways to be mean to people. They did all the things they can do. I was dealing with the Met[ropolitan Police], Scotland Yard, stuff like that. It was serious and it was real.
On Sticking With The Game Two Years Post-Launch
You can see when our updates come out, we go to the top of the steam charts, our numbers go up the same as it would for any big title. I'm not saying there's no story there, there's definitely problems, there were definitely people who were angry. But you give me too much credit by saying we stuck with the game out of altruism.
On How Fan Disappointment Shaped The 'Next' Update
The major features are things we've always wanted to add. But a lot of the stuff is coming from the community. We're listening to them - not in a touchy feely way, in a pure stats way.
On His Previously Candid Interviews
I was like yeah why doesn't everyone do that? Why don't all publishers do that, why is it so scripted? I totally understand why now. I stepped back and got that perspective. Yes there was a lot of shit going on, but I was able to step back and go okay, I need to reevaluate for a bit about why I make games and who I'm making them for.
Those familiar with Sean Murray's press interviews in the past will find a lot of similarities to those pre -release conversations. Though no where near as grandiose and spectacular, Murray clearly seems in awe of his team's ongoing creations. With No Man's Sky Next set to launch next week, the notorious space exploration game may finally make good on it's perceived potential.