Somewhat alarmingly, No Man’s Sky is now seven years old, and developer Hello Games is celebrating the exploratory space sim’s latest milestone with a brisk video retrospective and, probably of far more interest to fans, the tiniest of teases for the game’s next update. Really, it’s just the name they’ve announced, so don’t get your hopes up.

No Man’s Sky technically celebrated its birthday last Wednesday, 9th August, so I’m going to put Hello Games’ delayed festivities down to too much jelly and ice cream; but regardless, studio boss Sean Murray has now popped up to briefly reflect on seven years of updates – which have taken No Man’s Sky from its rocky beginnings to the staggeringly rich sci-fi opus is it now – while I silently scream at the imperceptible sprint of time.

“Seven years ago…we watched players all over the world begin to explore the universe we had created,” Murray writes in a short message shared to belatedly mark No Man’s Sky’s seventh anniversary. “I can’t describe what that felt like. It was already the culmination of five previous years of very hard work for our tiny team.”

No Man’s Sky seventh anniversary retrospective trailer.

“We knew this was the start of a journey, but never expected what a wild ride it would be. I’ve been working on this game for nearly a third of my life, and it’s been more successful than we ever planned or dreamed. It hasn’t always been easy, but the thing that has been our guiding star throughout has been the players and the community. Behind every update, every video, every feature and line in a patch note is a team that cares so deeply for this game.”

The grand tally of named updates at this point, if you haven’t been keeping tabs, is 27, introducing the likes of base building, bobbleheads, farming, cross-platform multiplayer, VR support, PSVR 2 support, giant customisable space freighters, even better giant customisable space freighters, land and water vehicles, pilotable mechs, living ships, alien-infested space derelicts, new flora and fauna, pets, robot dogs, robot uprisings, massively overhauled combat, live-service-style community expeditions, music tools, space piracy, corrupted worlds, corrupted Sentinels, planetary generation overhauls, visual enhancements for new-gen consoles, sand worms, space whales, plus, more recently, versions for Mac and Switch.

It is, then, a lot, and No Man’s Sky has, in all that time, become a truly wonderful experience; 2023, though, has felt like a comparatively quieter year in terms of big new feature additions so far, but Hello Games is keen to stress it’s not done yet. At the end of its newly released video celebrating seven years of updates, it throws in a tiny (really, it’s very small) tease for No Man’s Sky’s next update, which is officially going to be titled Echoes.

As to what Echoes might conceivably entail, I’m not sure I could even hazard a guess based on the name alone, but Hello Games has previously noted the recent corruption spreading across planets in No Man’s Sky’s galaxy hints at future updates and “a deeper story to come”, so I fully anticipate a whole bunch more knobbly purple crystal things in my exploratory space sim.

“There is still a lot we want to try, so much we are still excited for,” Murray concludes. “The next step on that journey is not far off. We’ll have more to share on Echoes with travellers very soon…Our journey continues. Thank you so much for your support.”

Happy belated seventh birthday, then, No Man’s Sky! Here’s to 700 more!

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