The No Man's Sky multiplayer situation was weird enough before people started peeling off their box stickers. People all over Europe who bought the limited edition of No Man's Sky are discovering that their boxes were, erm, "updated" with new PEGI information stickers. Underneath them are a PEGI 12 rating instead of 7 and - quite possibly related - an online multiplayer advisory.
PCGamesN has confirmed that these aren't isolated defects or pranksters trying to stir up trouble, but are instead present on all European Limited Editions of the game. Given how vague Hello Games founder Sean Murray has been about whether No Man's Sky actually supports direct online multiplayer (as in the kind where you can see and interact with other player characters), some are taking this as proof that Hello Games cut out the feature without telling prospective buyers. On the other hand, the little info boxes that list things like hard drive requirements make no mention of online multiplayer, with no sticker required.
Murray repeatedly said that folks shouldn't think of No Man's Sky as a multiplayer game, though he did leave open the slim possibility that players could find one another in its vast universe. That seemed to be disproven when two players managed to not-quite-meet-up in the same place at the same time on launch day. But then Murray attributed some of this apparent lack of multiplayer interaction to unexpectedly heavy server loads.
Direct interaction aside, No Man's Sky still definitely has some multiplayer aspects; every planet and species you discover and name for the game's database can be seen by other players. PEGI may have misinterpreted the nature of this unusual player-to-player interaction before manufacturing began for the limited edition, then corrected the mistake in time for the regular boxes to be made. Or it may have been misinformed. Or it may have been a slip-up on Sony's end.
Sony confirmed to Rock, Paper, Shotgun that the boxes were given incorrect descriptors due to a "production issue", though that doesn't really clear up the PEGI question. Either way, at least people who bought the European limited edition of No Man's Sky have even more of a collector's item now. Folks love misprints!
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