No Man’s Sky is nearly six years old and has come a long way since its troubled release. The space simulator has received many free expansions and improvements since 2016, and creator Sean Murray said in February that continue to grow. What we don’t know is what future updates will look like, although fans both in reddit and Twitter seem to think that pirate battles are a certainty. Louder are the ones called by something like Sea of Thieves in space.
And who can blame them? Sean Murray published a shy pirate flag emoji on Twitter today. The pirate flag emoji can mean anything. Maybe Murray belongs to a secret global gang of pirates, and he’s talking to them in code. But if you choose to believe that the pirate flag emoji is a tease for No Man’s Sky’s upcoming pirate-themed content, I wouldn’t blame you.
No Man’s Sky already has pirates, who take the form of AI-controlled starships that can start fights in outer space. They can be quite tedious, but also lucrative if you choose to become a pirate bounty hunter. If new pirated content is coming, it could deepen that aspect of the game, perhaps adding real face-to-face interactions with these pirates.
A cursory Google search also suggests that people like to play pirates too, so if No Man’s Sky is getting new pirated content, it would be nice if it supports pirated shenanigans online. Or perhaps the new pirated content points to a PvP-oriented expansion; PvP exists in No Man’s Sky, but it’s an optional affair. Most people tend to opt out, and that’s fair, because surviving in space is stressful enough without being attacked by overpowered players.
Whatever the case, it almost certainly means something. Sean Murray knows that talking too much about a game’s features before they’re implemented it can go very wrongand meanwhile It’s just a pirate flag emoji (and maybe the guy really loves pirates!), your account tends not to screw it up.
No Man’s Sky’s last major expansion launched last year in the form of Frontiers, which added planetary settlements, pets, and a major overhaul of base building among many other things. More recently, it had a major combat overhaul in early 2022, which (and forgive me for getting my hopes up) could have laid the groundwork for something akin to Sea of Thieves in space.