SAN FRANCISCO—Hello Games, the makers of beleaguered space-exploration game No Man's Sky, announced a new initiative on stage at this year's Game Developers Conference: Hello Labs. As announced by studio founder Sean Murray, the company is setting aside money to fund multiple projects—one of which is already in development—that focus on "procedural [world] generation and experimental games research."
Murray made the announcement at the end of a discussion about the use of mathematic formulas to generate the quadrillions of planets in No Man's Sky. This discussion largely avoided talking about the game's mixed critical reception. Still, Murray did point out a few new details about the end of development.
For starters: Murray and his team made an astonishingly low-ball prediction about how many players would boot the game on its first day. As in, less than 14,000. The team considered that number a high-end estimate of concurrent players, because staffers saw that number attached to recent Steam-use data for the game Far Cry: Primal, which launched shortly before No Man's Sky. "It's a huge game, obviously," Murray said. "That [number] made us a little bit nervous about servers, and the sheer number of people booting the game up day one." (The team was tempted to estimate even lower, at around the 3,000-player count of indie game Inside, but staffers at Sony warned Murray to estimate something befitting "a triple-A product.")