In place of No Man's Sky developer Hello Games accepting refunds - with the multiplayer component for the GOG release of No Man's Sky NEXT on track for release "later this year". So then, why no multiplayer at launch? Well, as Hello Games is a small indie studio it was easier to use existing network infrastructure and tech associated with Steam, PlayStation, and Xbox for the feature.
To combat the lack of multiplayer support for the DRM-free version, GOG has released a statement
on its site.
We know that many of you expressed disappointment about the lack of the new multiplayer feature in the latest update to No Man's Sky on GOG.COM. While we have limited control over games and content updates, we want you to have the best and risk-free experience possible when you buy a game on GOG.COM.
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. For this reason, entirely at GOG's own cost, we’re offering an extended refund policy for all owners of No Man’s Sky. Even if your purchase is no longer covered by the 30-Day Money Back Guarantee, you can contact our customer support team and we’ll issue a refund in wallet funds.
Where no-questions-asked refunds will be available through to the end of this weekend. Hello Games took to the official GOG forums
to respond, noting that all other NEXT updates are included in the release.
"From launch, the DRM-free edition of No Man's Sky will include all single-player content introduced by NEXT: third-person mode, upgraded visuals, better base building, player customization, and more.
However 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.
For a small, independent studio, developing the feature across multiple platforms is a hugely ambitious and technical challenge which resulted in this delayed release. Hello Games is however joining forces with GOG.COM to introduce full multiplayer via the GOG Galaxy platform.
In the end this probably says more about the state of GOG Galaxy, the application-like service that GOG launched a while back. As it moves into the realm of DRM-free storefront and service, multiplayer support and tools for smaller indie studios will no doubt need to become a priority.