The launch of No Man's Sky has become an infamous one with the game's release falling short of players' expectations, and the game's creator Sean Murray said it got so bad at one point that he was receiving death threats because of butterflies.
No Man's Sky promised an ambitious experience prior to the game coming out, but amid communication issues leading up to a release and a product that felt a bit emptier than expected, many players who had backed the game in the past and supported its release felt slighted. Speaking to The Guardian, Hello Games' Murray said that he received death threats at one point in the game because some butterflies were shown in a trailer prior to the game's release but weren't included once it was available.
"I remember getting a death threat about the fact that there were butterflies in our original trailer, and you could see them as you walked past them, but there weren't any butterflies in the launch game," Murray told The Guardian. "I remember thinking to myself: 'Maybe when you're sending a death threat about butterflies in a game, you might be the bad guy.'"
Death threats weren't the extent of the harassment that Murray received from people who thought that he didn't deliver a product that they were expecting. Bomb threats and other messages were common with Murray saying that the situation was "as bad as things can get."
"We didn't talk about it, but it was as bad as things can get, basically," Murray says. "There's a smorgasbord of things that the angry mob can do. It is a crowdsourced thing of how bad you can make someone's life."
No Man's Sky has been working towards reaching that same lofty vision that it had at release though with several large updates coming in the past to add more content and bring players closer together. The next update called No Man's Sky Next looks to continue that by adding multiplayer to the game on July 24, the same day that the game launches for the Xbox One. Murray also told The Guardian that they had a plan to launch a "light" multiplayer component at release, though it became clear that players wanted more.
"A very light multiplayer was envisioned for launch, and we fought right up until the end to add it, but it was immensely challenging and we knew it was something that only a handful of people would experience due to the size of the universe.
"We later added a version of it for the Atlas Rises update, and it was nice, but not hugely impactful to people's enjoyment. What players really wanted was the kind of multiplayer we are adding now."
No Man's Sky Next releases on July 24.