Many believed it was studio head Sean Murray who sent the tweet, but when reached for comment, Polygon first reported that “a person responding to Murray’s email account and identifying himself as Sean said that he sent the tweet.”
“The tweet is from me, but somebody from the team took it down,” the person wrote in the email. “We have not been coping well.”
Forbes reported that a representative for Hello Games said a “disgruntled employee” made the tweet and they were “currently trying to sort out the issue.” Mashable reported the same comment, but from an email signed by Murray himself through the main Hello Games email account.
“The tweet came from a disgruntled employee,” Murray wrote in an email. “We’re currently trying to solve the issue internally.”
Murray had not used his personal Twitter account since August 18 until today, when he sent these tweets out about five hours after the incident.
Despite the last lightly joking tweets, the Twitter sidebar on the official Hello Games’ website was removed because it still displayed the now-deleted tweet. Hello Games reactivated its Twitter account a half hour later.
No Man’s Sky became a controversial game post-launch, after players have derided the developer for under-delivering on promised features and showing footage that did not make it into the final title. The complaints were overwhelming enough that the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) launched an investigation behind the game. The procedurally generated space exploration game currently has an “Overwhelmingly Negative” rating with Steam user reviews.
Update: Polygon and Kotaku published an email containing an “apology” for the game sent to two Polygon employees that were not in direct contact with Murray. Kotaku believes the email is fake, as the information does not line up with the original comment that the tweet was made by Murray and removed by another employee. Hello Games said in the tweet above that the deleted tweet, the emails, and the comment sent to Forbes were fake so it is unknown if the culprit behind it all is an employee of the company or not. Here’s the email below:
“No Man’s Sky was a mistake.
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.
I hope everyone affected understands,