Hello Games today announced that the next update of No Man's Sky, Beyond, will be released this summer. It's free and adds new multiplayer and social features to the space exploration game.
No Man's Sky appeared in 2016 for PlayStation 4 and PC, followed by an Xbox One version in 2018. Until its release and strong first sales, many players expressed their disappointment at the lack of features and the cooperative game.
Since its launch, Hello Games has released numerous free updates that have improved the reputation of No Man's Sky. The largest of them, Next, was released in July 2018. It enabled multiplayer for the first time and gave players the opportunity to explore the universe with four participants. This helped make No Man's Sky one of the ten most played games on Steam based on simultaneous players, though it has since dropped out of the top 1
"Sky On Online offers a radical new social and multiplayer experience that allows players to meet and play together across the universe," said director Sean Murray on the game's website. "While this brings people together like never before and has many recognizable online elements, we do not consider No Man's Sky an MMO – it does not require a subscription, does not include microtransactions, and is for all free-to-play players.
Murray noted that No Man's Sky Online will be just one of three components for the Next update, which he describes as the most ambitious update of the game ever. We do not know what these two other parts will be.