No Man's Sky fans — if one can call them that — are among the most outspoken in gaming. But their bond is not defined by a mutual affection for the procedurally generated adventure game; instead, communities like the primary No Man’s Sky subreddit are devoted to decrying the game’s shortcomings and developer Hello Games’ alleged malfeasance. Their vitriol has grown so rampant in recent weeks that the forum’s moderators have had enough, they announced earlier today; the subreddit would be “purged.”
“It's become a hate filled wastehole of no actual discussion,” wrote user R0ugew0lf in a post that has since been locked, following the deletion of the entire subreddit’s history. “It's not what we intended it to be and I don't like providing a platform for hate. I'm sorry to everyone who used the subreddit as intended but you are now in the majority. I'm sure you can find a different place to discuss this game. It's not hard.”
The decision was not taken well by the 140,000-plus subscribers of the No Man’s Sky forum. Some 7,000 followers migrated to a new subreddit entirely, where the vast majority of discussions concern the “censorship” of the older forum.
“Absolutely pathetic,” reads a top comment. “Fuck you [R0guew0lf].”
“The most ironic thing about [purging the subreddit] is that it will hurt the game,” wrote another commentor.
Their lamentations made it to higher-ups, who told the No Man’s Sky forum-dwellers that a solution was on its way. Four hours later, a new moderator reopened the subreddit with a message to readers.
“At the core of things, this is a subreddit and a community centered around No Man's Sky,” new mod Sporkicide wrote. “I'm asking everyone here to participate in good faith and leave any frustration with the recent situation at the door.”
R0guew0lf will sit out on moderation duties for the time being as the subreddit’s team is reworked, as to better scrub for non-constructive criticism of the game. Things have pretty much returned to normal — although instead of bashing No Man’s Sky, subscribers are criticizing the subreddit staff for trying to silence their dislike of a game they consider fundamentally broken.
“The only reason they would want to wipe the whole sub reddit is because of the negative news and reviews of the game,” one recent thread claims of the moderation team. “They are trying to cover for Hello Games and remove any negativity about their game even if it means closing positive and informative discussions.”
It’s unlikely that the moderators work for Hello Games, as this poster alleges, but No Man’s Sky fans are nothing if not incensed about the hugely hyped-up game. It’s currently under investigation for misleading advertising, in part due to redditors’ complaints, and Hello Games is begged for comment on a regular basis.
We’ve reached out to the tiny studio for thoughts on the subreddit chaos and will update accordingly.