Poor Hello Games. The developers behind the upcoming, infinite procedural galaxy-explorer, No Man’s Sky just can’t catch a break. The game was the subject of a years-long trademark dispute with broadcasting company Sky, and a month-long delay on the hotly anticipated title saw its creators showered with hate mail and death threats. It seemed things were finally going to be peaceful when they announced the game had gone gold two weeks ago, but it seems they’ve got one last problem to deal with.
No Man’s Sky makes us of a mathematical equation called the Superformula to power its procedural generation of natural-looking environments. Sean Murray said as much inlast year. The Superformula is the work of a Dutch scientist named Johan Gielis, who founded a research called Genicap.
Hopefully No Man’s Sky won’t be once again pushed back on our list of!
Now Genicap claims to own a patent on the Superformula and that No Man’s Sky is infringing upon that patent. In a report by Dutch paper(helpfully translated at and broken down by ), the company intends to pursue licensing for the technology. They say they don’t want to block the launch of the game, but they do want to ensure the patent is used with permission.
Hello Games has yet to publicly respond to the claims. I’m not going to pretend to understand patent law--I think most patent lawyers will admit it’s a confusing, backward mess--but there is enough of a case here to make folks looking forward to the quickly-approaching release of No Man’s Sky a little nervous. Hopefully the situation can be resolved amicably.