Every so often there’s a game that gets people so hyped out of their minds that it’s hard to contain the excitement. The upcoming release of No Man’s Sky, following two years of nearly unchecked hype, has had fans salivating for August 9th. However, a recent leak of the game has brought up a very important issue in the relationship between game developers and fans.
There are an abundance of ways to relay information in 2016: Twitter, Twitch, Facebook, Tumblr are all easy ways to convey a message quickly – which makes the presence of leaks on the web so much accessible to everyone. The recent leaked footage of No Man’s Sky by some guy on Reddit has sparked minor fire over here at The Game Fanatics. We discussed how this news should be covered, and came to the conclusion that it shouldn’t be. Rather, it should be used as a jumping off point to discuss why what that dude who leaked it is such a wiener.
An anonymous Reddit user was able to procure a copy of No Man’s Sky before the street date in a week. The details are sketchy as to how he actually got a hold of the game, but that’s not really the point here. The point is what he did with the content after he got the game. He purchased the game – for $2,000 dollars – on eBay and started streaming gameplay wherever it wouldn’t be taken down too fast. These include multiple YouTube streams and a Pornhub one – yes, Pornhub.
So what’s the grand issue here? Think of it from Sean Murray’s perspective and the team who worked on No Man’s Sky. Four years of blood and sweat went into the game. They made it solely for the purpose of letting us experience and enjoy it, and filled it with surprises and fun we were meant to experience on our own.
But some silly goose decides to be a wang and spoil the hard work before it’s even out, just for a little karma. It’s like if your mom made a bunch of surprise cookies for you and your friends, that were delicious and special. She comes in to the room to tell you guys how great they are and how much you’ll love them.
You go into the kitchen and one of your buds is already mowing down on them, he quickly looks up and says, “Yo, it’s chocolate chip.” Surprise ruined. All the excitement your mom put into those cookies is dashed from her face. Sean Murray is the mom in this analogy, he really wants us to be excited and surprised for what’s to come; in a tweet regarding the leak he stated.
We’ve spent years filling No Man’s Sky with surprises. You’ve spent years waiting. Please don’t spoil it for yourself 🙁
— Sean Murray (@NoMansSky) July 29, 2016
I feel your pain Mr. Murray. This happens a lot in game culture the fans of a series get so jazzed over the game that we can’t learn to be patient for a few weeks. Smash Bros. Wii U is a great example of people needing leaks and character info before Nintendo and the development team is ready to give it to us. Some person always seems to take a clandestine pic on their phone and tweet it out to the world, every time we engage in it we break the heart of a game developer. Do you really want to break Masahiro Sakurai’s heart? Look at this face!
It’s rough not to look at spoilers, especially when you’re too hyped to let it go. We’ve all had our moments of weakness and gone on an info spree. But for Sean Murray and for the team at No Man’s Sky who have worked so hard on our behalf, be cool people and chill. It’ll be like mom’s special cookies, but for your eyes, hearts and mind.
“We also aren’t arguing for some kind of refusal by the press to release footage of a game or impressions there of before launch – its part of our job to act as a translator between developers, publishers, and you. But there is such a thing as uncouth release of footage or information, the kind that does a disservice to everyone involved – the developers, the press, and indeed you. There is a reason the press carefully chooses what information to reveal about a game before launch, and that developers carefully choose footage for trailers and previews. It’s about the preservation of the experience. Footage like this ruins that preservation, beyond review impressions of the game ever could. Its a flat presentation of a thing, released of the context of the opinion of the person playing it. It’s kind of like watching a robot eat a cookie – nobody gets anything out of it really, except for one less cookie. – Editor’s Note”