When I spoke to Sean Murray last year, he had decided that he was done with huge updates to No Man’s Sky. The last major addition, titled Next, had added so much in one go that it had left him a little exhausted, and he wanted to switch to smaller, more regular patches. For a while, he kept that promise to himself. “We kept things more as a live game, like a normal studio would,” he tells me. “We were doing really well, like a proper game!”
“And then we just went mad.”
13 months after Next’s release, we’re sat in the same office, and Murray is showing me a new mega-update called Beyond. It’s considerably bigger than Next, rolling three planned sets of changes into one package. The free update will be out on August 14, and is built with the kind of altruistic optimism we’ve come to expect from Hello Games, designed to simultaneously offer meaningful changes to existing players, tempt lapsed players back, and offer brand new experiences for those who haven’t yet been converted.