No Man’s Sky has faced a tortured development cycle often compared to Star Citizen, and now the two controversial space projects are sharing employees. Longtime Hello Games designer Gareth Bourn signed on to Squadron 42 campaign developer Foundry42 last month according to his LinkedIn page.
For No Man’s Sky followers, this news might come off as yet another sign of Hello Games’ inner turmoil. There had been rumors that the studio had been abandoned and talented coders were leaving, but now we know only half of those claims are true. While it’s not uncommon for developers to switch jobs after a project is complete, Bourn had been linked to Hello for nearly six years between Joe Danger and No Man’s Sky. A rocky procedurally generated universe seems like it wasn’t enough to keep that loyalty going.
Beyond No Man’s Sky’s lack of promised features, lawsuits and refund demands, the ironic truth is that the ongoing story of Star Citizen isn’t all that different. What began as a Kickstarter in 2012 has since raised over $100 million dollars spread over four studios with no release date in sight. The project has undergone a few closed alphas for backers, but some donors still aren’t impressed. Questions remain over how the funds are being managed, refunds have been demanded and full game modes have yet to enter testing phases. In fact, Kotaku published a mega-feature earlier this year cataloging its turmoils.
As if those parallels weren’t enough, Star Citizen also promises many of the hallmark features that No Man’s Sky failed to deliver. There’s evidence of full-scale intergalactic trade, multiplayer and a truly robust single-player campaign with Hollywood talent. All of that stuff sounds great, but studio turmoils, engine difficulties and unwavering ambition have bogged down the title’s schedule. Throughout most of last year, some wondered if No Man’s Sky would ever see the light of day. Those same thoughts have surrounded Star Citizen for even longer.
Fellow indie developers have even commented on the new hire. Outspoken Line Of Defense designer Derek Smart joked that Bourn had “quit quietly from one sinking canoe to a sinking luxury cruise liner.” Bourn replied by saying “gee thanks man. Real nice of you.”
In other news @GjBourn of Hello Games (No Mans Sky) quit quietly from one sinking canoe to a sinking luxury cruise liner. Because reasons.
— Derek Smart (@dsmart) November 10, 2016
With these staff changes in mind, the curious nature of the No Man’s Sky predicament continues. It’s been nearly three months since the last substantial update on the title’s progress. Outside of a strange hacking dilemma a few weeks ago, we haven’t seen anything besides a few internal updates on Steam.
No Man’s Sky is available now on PS4 and PC.
What do you think of this job change? Will Star Citizen meet the same unfortunate fate as No Man’s Sky? Tell us in the comments section!