Whatever anyone thought of space simulation No Man's Sky when it launched—or now, several years and updates later—it can be said without question that it shot for the stars. Whole procedural planets can be explored, bases built, ships outfitted, and more. Their next project after the universe-size simulation was a small puzzle adventure called The Last Campfire that just launched last week. As for what comes next, Hello Games founder Sean Murray says that the studio is headed back into the thick of it with another "huge, ambitious game like No Man’s Sky."
In an interview with Polygon, Murray talks briefly about his history making sequels to games at Electronic Arts and Hello Games' beginnings with their own first game and its sequel. "I had a little bit of a midlife crisis [after Joe Danger 2]," Murray says. "That’s what started No Man’s Sky, you know, I felt a panic. I knew as a studio I wanted to do the game that No Man’s Sky became eventually, but I was like, what if I never get to make that and what if we just keep doing the next thing and the next thing and life moves on."
It's no wonder, then, that after a small team diverged to create The Last Campfire, Hello games will return to bigger ambitions. According to Polygon, Hello Games currently has 26 members. Three had been working on The Last Campfire, while the remaining 23 are split between continued No Man's Sky development and the next project.
As for what the heck they might be doing next, Murray didn't share any hints. It doesn't sound like we'll be getting any until they're good and ready either. "The choice that we had with No Man’s Sky where if I was to go back again, I would find it very difficult to know what the right path was," he says. "Where you will have incredible interest in your game, you will have a huge amount of excitement for it. But you will be in a rocket ship, launching towards the sun, and you will be building that rocket on the way up." I suspect that Icarus won't fly so close this time around, especially with another large project.
Murray acknowledges that there's a positive side to talking about a game a lot prior to launch. That said, he thinks that not all the chances they used to talk about No Man's Sky were really necessary. "A lot of opportunities were put in front of us, and we were told that they were the right things to do and I look back and I’m not sure that they were super, super important to the overall outcome kind of thing."
I imagine it will be a while before we hear anything concrete about the studio's next big game. Hello Games told IGN that it's still "very early" in development.