Tue. May 30th, 2023
The apparently hacked tweet that sparked so much internet drama this morning.
enlarge / The apparently hacked tweet that sparked so much internet drama this morning.

Despite what you may have tweeted or written, it doesn’t appear that Hello Games founder Sean Murray (or anyone else at the developer) has actually admitted that. No Man’s Sky was a mistake this morning.

Just to be sure, the Hello Games Twitter account did send the tweet pictured above and directly say that “No Man’s Sky was a mistake” just before 9:00 a.m. Eastern time this morning. The tweet was deleted about 10 minutes after it appeared and the Hello Games account was set to “protected” about the same time.

Many initially assumed the tweet was the result of a hack, especially given the odd way of posting via LinkedIn, a platform that has had its own security vulnerabilities. But things started to get confusing when several news outlets reported that someone using an email account linked to Murray attributed the tweet to “a disgruntled employee” and said Hello Games was “trying to fix the problem right now”.

Meanwhile, Polygon reported that someone using Murray’s account admitted to posting the tweet themselves. “The tweet is mine, but someone from the team deleted it,” said an email to Polygon from Murray’s account. “We didn’t get through it well.”

There was confusion until later in the morning when… a message on Sean Murray’s own Twitter account suggested that their server was hacked. Another tweet succinctly noted that “If anything was a flaw, it was using Linked In without 2FA.” And a note about Hello Games’ (now unprotected) Twitter account seems to confirm that “100% not hacked anymore… those emails and that tweet were clearly fake. Back to work.”

Of course, those tweets could still come from a would-be hacker, perhaps as part of a long ruse to convince people that the threat is over. That’s a bit much to assume, though, especially since Kotaku reports that “two sources close to the game’s development” confirmed that the first tweet was the result of a hack. Kotaku also shared a lengthy email from another Sean Murray account that appears to be fake mea culpa for the response his game has gotten.

This morning’s digital drama is the first sign of online life we’ve seen from Hello Games and Murray in a long time. After No Man’s Sky Launched in August, after years of massive (and somewhat unfulfilled) hype, Murray and his team have declined any request for comment or interviews from the press.

As of today, Murray hadn’t posted on Twitter since then a comment dated August 18 about providing customer supportand the Hello Games account hadn’t been posted since August when the players warned about a gameplay patch. If this hack was an attempt to get the Hello Games team to lift their heads from their ongoing work on the game and say something – anything – in public… well, mission accomplished I guess.

By akfire1

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