Hello Games has announced its next big expansion for No Man’s Sky. The “Beyond” update is slated for this summer and will be free to all players. It was accompanied by a brief trailer showing a hanger, the title, and not much more.
A blog post introducing the update says that Hello Games had planned three large features, and ultimately decided to roll them all into one expansion. Though two of those are remaining under wraps for the time being, the first component the team is outlining is called No Man’s Sky Online. The newly revised online component will allow players to meet up and play together more easily, but the studio cautions that it doesn’t consider this a shift to an MMO. It will remain free for all players, won’t contain microtransactions, and won’t require a subscription (aside from Xbox Live Gold or PS Plus on consoles).
As for the other pieces of Beyond, Hello says it will “talk more about each component when we know we can be precise.”
Last year, No Man’s Sky had a large-scale update called Next that served as a major overhaul, and earned it a spot among our best expansions of 2018. Since then it’s gotten a steady stream of content updates, like The Abyss that added more underwater exploration, and Visions with a host of new biomes, flora, and fauna. Beyond appears to be scaled similarly to Next.
The game has come a long way from its initial release, which was criticized for not quite meeting its lofty ambitions. Part of that was simply not fulfilling some of the promotion surrounding the game, so the blog’s comment about not opening up about pieces of Beyond yet seems as if Hello has learned how to manage expectations.