No Man’s Sky fans have raised over $4,800 to post a “thank you” message to Hello Games on a billboard outside the game developer’s office. The money was raised using a crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe that was started by Reddit user Cameron G, and will also buy lunch and beer for the development team after it concludes on July 14th. After hitting its initial target of $1,750, to pay for the billboard itself, the goal was subsequently raised to $6,000, with the extra funds due to be donated to the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation.
The campaign marks a remarkable turnaround for No Man’s Sky. At launch, the game was met with a hostile reception that the game’s director Sean Murray later said was “as bad as things can get.” Now, however, it has a healthy community of fans around it who are willing to raise thousands for charity in a grand gesture of appreciation for its developer. Since release, Hello Games has transformed the game with a series of substantial free updates that have added features like multiplayer, base building, and even VR support. This summer, the developer says it will release a “radical” new multiplayer experience for the game as part of a three part No Man’s Sky: Beyond expansion.
Before the billboard’s message can be posted, however, Cameron will have to select its final design. The current plan is for the community to vote between two potential designs, the initial black and white line-drawn version and a new color version. Both designs feature the same “Gib” emote, which Cameron says is “supposed to convey a fun/cheeky expression of desire/want for the new update.”
Although Cameron says he has not been in contact with Hello Games about the campaign, Murray tweeted a link to its GoFundMe page last week.
Ultimately, Cameron says the campaign is a way of showing appreciation and recognition of Hello Games’ work, but he also says he wants others to see what the developer has achieved with its post-launch support for the game.