No Man’s Sky is finally getting multiplayer by way of ‘joint exploration’

Remember all the fuss a year ago when No Man’s Sky finally launched and the multiplayer features Hello Games’ Sean Murray had teased (and the “online play” feature apparently hidden under a sticker on the gamebox) didn’t actually materialize, disappointing millions of players and contributing to a regulation investigation? We sure do, as it was really the only reason we covered the game at all.

Good news, though: It looks as if we’re getting what we paid for after all, just, you know, a year later. When the NMS update Atlas Rises launches, it brings with it “joint exploration,” a feature that sure sounds lot like co-op multiplayer, though Hello isn’t using that exact term.

“Glitches in the simulation have begun to appear. Visualised by strange floating orbs, up to 16 players can see and communicate with one another, and explore the universe together. While interaction with others is currently very limited, this is an important first step into the world of synchronous co-op in No Man’s Sky. While interaction is very limited, VOIP (Voice over IP) allows proximity based voice chat with other nearby explorers. Use portals to quickly travel to more populated planets, or to meet up with friends.”

There’s plenty more in the update, of course, but this is the bit that got our eyebrows waggling. If you owned it before, are you plugging back in for this?

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39 Comments on "No Man’s Sky is finally getting multiplayer by way of ‘joint exploration’"

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Malcolm Swoboda

With the added story content, I’ll be getting this game sometime. Probably at a time when its 50%-75% off, but if I like it, I’d be open to DLC after they deliver on their initial message (imo they seem 3/4 there, finally).

Basically, I might become a No Man’s Sky fan next year. Next year.

Pralix
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Pralix

I bought it at full price, played it and liked it. Okay, so I didn’t get what was promised at launch, oh well. No interest in multiplayer might have something to do with that.

Disappointed, yes. Angry, a little. I got over it. I didn’t go demanding a refund and made do with what I got. Im’ just glad they didn’t just take the money and run and that they aren’t now charging DLC prices for these updates. Fanboi? Hardly. I have yet to play it since before the first update but I’m getting ready to get back into it.
From what I’ve seen so far watching streams, I expect to have fun with it.

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nobleeinherjar

I was ultimately disappointed with NMS, but it did wow and awe me for a good 25 hours or so. I wouldn’t have paid full price for it if I had known, but I have to admit I loved it for a time. I doubt NMS can ever really live up to what was promised, but I’m going to forgo being cynical and jaded (as is the norm for me) and just be happy that the team is improving the game and that those that truly love NMS are getting more to love about it.

Estranged
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Estranged

Good for them. Being forced to launch a year early stinks.

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Mr Poolaty

Did hello games never repurchase a dictionary after their flood? For geezus fuck sakes this isn’t multiplayer it’s not even co-op. They need some gd help with what game terms actually mean!!

DeadlyAccurate
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DeadlyAccurate

When it says multiplayer, does that mean if I and my husband bought the game, we’d be able to see each other? I’m thinking about it after this patch, but I’m not interested if I can’t group up with him and play together.

koolthulu
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koolthulu

From what I’ve read, other players appear as floating orbs. You can voice chat, but that is about it. It’s basically like being in a Discord chat while each person plays their own instance of the game. I guess it’s a start, but calling it multiplayer is a huge stretch.

DeadlyAccurate
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DeadlyAccurate

Hmm, not sure that’s good enough yet for me. Thanks for the info.

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voydd

Yey! It will officially be OK to talk about this game on massivelyop! ;p

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mysecretid

Will the late addition of multiplayer now be enough to win back the trust of people who felt deceived by the pre-release hype? That’s the question that hangs over all of this, I suspect.

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Hirku

I never cared about multiplayer myself. The only question hanging over me is does the exploration in this exploration game still suck or not?

Alfredo Garcia
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Alfredo Garcia

I doubt it. Gamers have a Shakespearean ability to nurse a grudge.

/holdtorch

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Greaterdivinity

So they’re finally delivering that feature they promised for launch last year, eh?

Snark aside, I’m glad they’re still supporting the game a year after launch and all the controversy and backlash. Good on them for not just trying to move on as quickly as possible, I know that was probably an attractive option for some of them.

Estranged
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Estranged

He was devastated about the whole deal and dug his heels to make it right. Shows great character after being forced to launch prematurely.

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Greaterdivinity

…what? Who forced them to launch “prematurely”?

Also, apparently the “multiplayer” is a ghost of any proper form of multiplayer, no interactivity or anything. Still good on them for continuing to support the game, but this is definitely a less hype update than I thought.

Estranged
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Estranged

Sony took over and forced it, isn’t that sorta transparent?

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Greaterdivinity

No, not in the slightest. Sony pimped them out through a serious co-marketing partnership, but Sony did not publish the game and consequently had no say in when it was released.

Just like we’re seeing with Cuphead and Microsoft. Microsoft is giving Cuphead mad love the same way Sony gave No Man’s Sky mad love (paying for both their late night show spots etc.), but in both instances the platform holder does not control the game/release date.

Estranged
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Estranged

You don’t think they put pressure on Sean? Come on.

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Greaterdivinity

Holy months ago comment, Batman!

No, I don’t. Because as far as I know, Sony was not the publisher and had no involvement in funding the game. They would need to be funding/publishing to be able to have any potentially significant control over the game.

Co-marketing deals like this are pretty common, and they don’t really come with many strings attached. Platform holder owns all the advertising/marketing channels (PSN banners, social channels, existing Sony specific advertisements, Sony events/conferences) so there aren’t really too many additional expenses accrued. The co-marketing teams salaries are already on the books.

They do co-marketing deals when they have games that they think will help drive big software sales on the platform (revenue from sales) and/or ship more hardware, because it’s in their best interests to highlight games that will get folks excited to play on their platform. The developers get TONS of free promotional content (stage/booth presence at shows, banner ads, social posts etc.) at a relatively minimal cost – the only significant costs usually being associated with additional work to create exclusive promotional assets and ensuring that spokespeople are available for events.

I’m sure they likely made suggestions, offered help etc., but no, I don’t think Sony was in a position to put any meaningful pressure on Sean/Hello Games. Again, as I pointed to 7 months ago I’ll point to again – Cuphead. Seems very much like the same kind of co-marketing deal for those cats, but through Microsoft. Both benefit from it – Microsoft gets to claim a hype a shit game that folks are excited about on their platform and buy the game for it (making them money), devs get a ton of free promotion that will ensure they have far higher sales than would have otherwise been possible.

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Tobasco da Gama

It’s only been a year from launch, and half the stuff they promised might actually be in the game finally!

I mean, I’m glad they’re doing this rather than just abandoning the game, but it’s hard not to be cynical about it.

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kgptzac

They can spend rest of their lives to implement stuff they promised pre-launch, and it still would not change the fact that they committed deceptive marketing. It’s still worth to remember, and I won’t be giving them a cent, because if I do, I’d be legitimizing their actions and any other developer/publishers wanting to do the same.