Much like the game itself, the details regarding the release of No Man’s Sky are up in the air.
Rumors emerged earlier this week that the PS4’s upcoming space exploration title could receive a physical release after a listing appeared on Amazon, despite comments from developer Hello Games that No Man’s Sky will only be released digitally.
Perhaps even more peculiar about this rumor is the game being listed at a price of £46.85 ($73.29). While this is probably (and hopefully?) some kind of placeholder price prior to a reveal of an actual price, it brings up one of the most sought after questions regarding No Man’s Sky (Other than, you know, when will we actually be playing it?)
How much will the price tag read at launch? In other words, how much money can they ask for in exchange for the ability to explore more than 18 quintillion planets?
As the norms go, the game is being developed by an independent studio and is so far only confirmed to be released digitally. Not saying that it’s always correct, but typically games of this form and stature are released at a smaller price tag, where $19.99 or $24.99 don’t seem to be out of the question. However, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, another recent PS4 digital-only release, was $19.99 at launch, and while the game was gorgeous and impactful to many, its timeframe is roughly 5 hours. Tying a game’s value to its length is difficult and controversial, but No Man’s Sky seems to be able to easily last you hundreds upon hundreds of hours, if you would choose to invest, adding an immense amount of value.
No Man’s Sky seems to be reflective of the trends of AAA games. The game is going to be undeniably massive and open, and while details of what you do in the world are emerging slowly, there’s no doubt No Man’s Sky’s world is incredible to look at and appears to be endless thanks to its procedurally generated content. Comments from the developer suggest that as players explore and discover the game, they will continue to alter and add to the world. Does it justify a $60 price tag? Games that are much smaller in scope and that hit an eventual ‘end’ are priced at $60 when they launch. The counter argument to this is that No Man’s Sky lacks a real amount of content to justify a full retail price tag. Will it just be flying from planet to planet while we try to reach the center?
In the end, tying No Man’s Sky to a price tag may be difficult because it’s still so hard to judge the game based on presentations and screenshots. In my opinion, I believe Sony has backed this game for far too long for it to settle for a low $20 price tag, but will sticking $60 on the box only encourage those who claim the game has little to do? The hype around this game so far is incredible, so meeting in the middle around $40 may be a safe bet for a title like No Man’s Sky.
How much are you willing to pay for it?