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No Man’s Sky multiplayer delayed indefinitely for buyers

There’s no release date for when this part of the Next update will launch

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No Man’s Sky — travelers and aliens Hello Games

No Man’s Sky’s revolutionary Next update has brought numerous people back to the 2016 game, but owners of PC copies purchased from Good Old Games, a.k.a., will have to sit out on one of its new features for the foreseeable future. While the single-player content from Next is now available to anyone who bought the game on the DRM-free marketplace, multiplayer won’t come until “later this year.”

“The multiplayer component will not be ready at launch; we expect it to be released later this year as full multiplayer parity remains in the pipeline,” reads a message posted to GOG from developer Hello Games.

Hello Games already kept the storefront’s users waiting longer than everyone else to download the Next update; it didn’t arrive until later yesterday afternoon. It’s one thing to receive the single-player features, like new missions, base-building options and visual updates, late; to miss out on all that multiplayer content for an unspecified amount of time seems like a bigger blow.

It’s not a wholly unexpected one, however. No Man’s Sky Version 1.3 first introduced asynchronous multiplayer nearly a year ago, but this “joint exploration” feature never came to GOG. It’s unclear why that is — maybe it’s because Steam continues to hold down the PC gaming market, or maybe it’s because GOG is committed to providing all content DRM-free.

This time around, however, Hello Games attributed the delay to tech problems.

“For a small, independent studio, developing the feature across multiple platforms is a hugely ambitious and technical challenge which resulted in this delayed release,” the developer wrote. “Hello Games is however joining forces with GOG.COM to introduce full multiplayer via the GOG Galaxy platform.”

Not being able to play No Man’s Sky with your friends is a bummer, especially after two years of anticipation. At least that single-player content is pretty cool on its own.

Update: Shortly before publish, GOG announced that it’s giving all No Man’s Sky owners a chance to refund the game, regardless of when they initially purchased it. The company decided to enforce this extended refund period on its own accord, after receiving numerous complaints about the multiplayer delay.

“Although Hello Games chose not to offer refunds over missing game content to our users and instead promised to bring the missing multiplayer content later this year, we understand that some of you might not be willing to wait,” reads a post on the website. “For this reason, entirely at GOG’s own cost, we’re offering an extended refund policy for all owners of No Man’s Sky.”

Anyone outside of the traditional 30-day refund window can get their money back through a GOG customer support request. The offer is available until July 29 at 5 p.m. ET.