No Man’s Sky, a game infamous for failing to deliver on its many promises for release-day content, has done well to gain some favor back from fans with its sizeable free content updates in the two years since its launch. Now it seems Hello Games may be on the verge of delivering on one of the biggest features considered missing from the game: proper multiplayer.
Multiplayer does already exist in the game, in a somewhat limited form. Referred to as “joint exploration,” multiple players can meet at the same place in the infinitely procedural universe of No Man’s Sky, though others can only be seen as floating orbs of light. Players are able to speak over voice chat, share notes and messages, and check out bases together.
However, the latest info on the Xbox One release of the game seems to suggest that a “true” multiplayer mode will be coming in the next big update, with up to four players cooperatively. Cover art for the Xbox One release has been data mined from the official No Man’s Sky site, displaying four characters gazing off into the distance on an alien planet.
If multiplayer is indeed coming to the game with the Xbox One release (which a leak suggests is June 29), this would likely coincide with No Man’s Sky’s upcoming free content update, titled NEXT. Not much is known about this update except that Hello Games has called it the biggest update so far, leading many players to speculate that a full multiplayer experience was on the cards even before this cover art leaked.
The update – which Hello Games is working “ridiculously hard on” according to a recent blog post from Sean Murray – will definitely be a big one, with some suggestions that VR support may even be added to the game. Indeed, it’s likely that multiplayer will not be the only big change brought by the NEXT update, though the four dots used on branding for the update may be a clue that four-way co op is its central premise.
It will be interesting to see what the Xbox One release and (likely) addition of multiplayer does to the popularity of No Man’s Sky. While many will undoubtedly hold fast to their negative perceptions of the game, the argument that No Man’s Sky lacks content is becoming a much harder one to maintain.
No Man’s Sky is out now for PC and PS4, and is in development for Xbox One.
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