Shawn Layden, president of Sony Interactive Entertainment America, gives one of precious few official comments on No Man’s Sky in an appearance on Live with YouTube Gaming earlier today. He defends the ambition of developer Hello Games, and says the team are still working on improving their game.
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Layden says Sean Murray and his team at Hello Games "had an incredible vision for what they were going to create. Something never done before, and a very small team had a very huge ambition." Confirming that the project hasn't been abandoned despite radio silence from Murray, he says "they’re still working at it. They’re still updating it. They’re trying to get it closer to what their vision was."
Layden, unsurprisingly, went on to defend No Man's Sky, saying that Sony - who published the game - wanted to support the ambition of a small team who simply weren't able to follow through this time. "We don't wanna stifle ambition... People are really trying. I think looking at the different industries in which I had the privilege of working, the gaming industry is where everybody has the courage to say 'yes.' And they want to try to realize their ambitions... And sometimes you just don’t get all the way there at the first go."
Live with YouTube Gaming isn't exactly Newsnight, and host Geoff Keighley didn’t linger on what was surely a sensitive subject. So while it's nice to hear any comment from the people involved in bringing the game to market, Layden’s comments leave plenty of customers’ questions unanswered around its marketing.
These questions were considered pertinent enough by a UK watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority, to warrant an investigation into the game for false advertising. Valve's recent decision to stipulate that only in-game screenshots can be used to advertise titles on Steam is also presumed to be related to No Man's Sky's promotion.
You can watch the interview on YouTube here.