More than 200m hours of No Man's Sky have been played in the last two years

More than 200m hours of No Man's Sky have been played in the last two years

The developer of ambitious sci-fi title No Man's Sky Hello Games has given us an idea of just how well the project has performed over the last two years.

In a blog post discussing the recent - and admittedly massive NEXT update - studio founder Sean Murray says that over 200m hours of No Man's Sky have been played since its launch two years ago in 2016.

Additionally, one million people were playing on the day the prior large update, Atlas Rises, was released.

The users who purchased that update played an average of 45 hours each, with 90 per cent rating the game positively. 20 per cent of players stuck with the game for over 100 hours, while five per cent were with No Man's Sky Atlas Rises for a whopping 1,000 hours.

All of which paints a picture of a game that, after disappointing many when it released, is certainly of a higher quality than it was. 

The fact that the studio has released no sales data about the game is somewhat concerning, especially as now - two years on with this considerable update - would have been a perfect time to shout about the game's success in a more explicit fashion. It's entirely possible that this sales information is being restricted by Sony, as that firm published the PlayStation 4 edition of the game.

Still, Hello could give us some notion of how the PC version of the game has done given that it is fully in control of that edition. We've reached out to Hello to see if we can glean some idea of how the title is performing, if only on PC. 

That being said, it's entirely possible that the studio simply doesn't want to give any ammo to those wanting to deem the game a failure. Given the massive hype behind the title and subsequent backlash, it's honestly quite hard to even guess at how well No Man's Sky has performed. 

Murray also said that Hello would be more open with its community moving forwards. After the game's, um, 'explosive' release, the company more or less went on a PR lockdown, presumably not to inadvertently fuel the flames of the fan backlash.

"We always wanted No Man’s Sky to grow and develop after it released. I’m happy we’ve been able to do that," he wrote.

"I am so proud of the team at Hello Games, what they did was incredible. Over the years of development the average team size was six, the final team was just 15 people at launch. No Man’s Sky has grown to be a very broad game, ambitious, technically unique and very pretty at times, all the more impressive for a team that is still small.

"Whilst I couldn’t be prouder of the team, I personally made mistakes. I could talk all day about things I personally would change. Certainly, one regret is that the intensity and drama of launch left no room for communication with the community.

"We decided instead to focus on development rather than words. Following Foundation, Pathfinder and Atlas Rises, we really want to include you, the community, more."

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.