Hello Games, the indie studio behind sci-fi sim No Man’s Sky, appears to have been hacked by disgruntled fans. Earlier today, a since-deleted tweet appeared stating that “No Man’s Sky was a mistake.” The tweet came after months of quiet following the controversial launch of the game, and was followed by director Sean Murray stating that “Server hacked. We're binging Mr. Robot episodes as quickly as we can looking for answers. Ep05 is a cracker.”
In addition to the Hello Games Twitter account, the developer’s email appears to have also been affected. Not long after the initial tweet went out, The Verge received the following email purporting to be from Murray, with the subject line “An Official Statement from Hello Games.” The message was sent from a different account than Murray has used to contact us in the past.
I have contacted you because the silence from Hello Games has been unwarranted and unprofessional. The community has asked me to speak up, and I have a confession to make. The game was simply unfinished upon arrival. Our hand was forced by not only Sony, but the community as well. The constant harassment and absolute gross misconduct on the community's part has made it hard to fulfill our artistic vision, while the pressure from Sony to release the game as soon as possible forced us to cut key features. I want to apologize for what we did not deliver on, as the game does not meet up to what our artistic vision was.
However, we do wish that the community was more understanding of our situation. Many people have asked for refunds despite our promise to continually improve and update No Man's Sky. We are just a small studio that has poured our blood, sweat, and tears into this project. The complete lack of respect when it comes to the work we have done absolutely saddens not only myself, but the team as well. We want to improve the game to the point we dreamed of it being and beyond.
The situation appears to be under control, as Hello has since tweeted that “100% not hacked anymore... obviously those mails and that tweet were fake. Back to work.” The accounts appear to have been accessed through the developer’s LinkedIn account.
If anything was a mistake, it was using Linked In without 2FA.— Sean Murray (@NoMansSky) October 28, 2016
.@NoMansSky 100% not hacked anymore... obviously those mails and that tweet were fake. Back to work— Hello Games (@hellogames) October 28, 2016
No Man’s Sky was released this past August on the PlayStation 4 and PC. It’s a game that was incredibly anticipated due to its ambitious nature, offering a vast, procedurally generated universe for players to explore, one where every planet was different. It was all the more impressive having been built by a small indie studio.
However, for many, the final product didn’t match up to that initial pitch, and this disparity created a very vocal and angry portion of the playerbase. Users on Reddit and elsewhere compiled long, intricate lists of missing features using past interviews and trailers as evidence. The developers received death threats and some No Man’s Sky communities were shut down due to toxic behavior.
Inundated by this feedback, Hello Games has largely been quiet since launch, with official statements relegated to patch notes. Prior to today, Murray himself hasn’t tweeted since August. In September the studio said that “What matters now, as always, is what we do rather than what we say. We’re developers, and our focus is first on resolving any issues people have with the game as it is, then on future free updates which will improve, expand, and build on the No Man’s Sky universe.”