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No Man's Sky subreddit shut down, community erupts

UPDATE: Reopened. "If a community this big is in trouble, we're supposed to be here to help."

UPDATE: The main No Man's Sky subreddit has reopened.

Mod Sporkicide said r0ugew0lf, who has shut the 150,000 subscriber-strong /r/NoMansSkyTheGame after claiming it had become "a hate filled wastehole of no actual discussion", would "take a break" and had passed control over.

Here's the latest announcement:

  • I know the past few hours have been confusing. I've been reviewing the situation and working with /u/r0ugew0lf to determine the needs of this community and how the admins can help meet them. He's been an enormous help and I appreciate him working with us during a difficult time. He's going to take a break and has handed the reins over to me to get the subreddit restarted. I've extended invitations to some of the previous moderators to get things started and will likely be needing some additional help.
  • At the core of things, this is a subreddit and a community centered around No Man's Sky. I'm asking everyone here to participate in good faith and leave any frustration with the recent situation at the door.

/r/NoMansSkyTheGame lives again, then. But it seems its community is still upset over r0ugew0lf's actions.

  • EDIT: I was hoping I wouldn't have to add this, but yes, I'm going to remove comments that do nothing but criticise the former mods. You'll notice I am currently the only moderator, so complaints about the old ones aren't constructive or applicable.

Looking to the future, Sporkicide said /r/NoMansSkyTheGame would do more in terms of moderation support, which r0ugew0lf had singled out before setting the subreddit private.

  • If a community this big is in trouble, we're supposed to be here to help. Our team is expanding and we're getting a little more capability to assist mods in running a successful community. I wish we would have gotten to this one a little bit sooner, but we're doing the best we can for it being 4AM my time.

ORIGINAL STORY: The No Man's Sky subreddit has been shut down, with the mod responsible expressing his distaste at what it has become.

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Visit the No Man's Sky subreddit now and you get a note telling you it's been set to private.

/r/NoMansSkyTheGame, which had over 150,000 subscribers, was closed with an announcement post from moderator "r0ugew0lf":

  • So I purged the subreddit. It's become a hate filled wastehole of no actual discussion. It's not what we intended it to be and I don't like providing a platform for hate. I'm sorry to everyone who used the subreddit as intended but you are now in the majority. I'm sure you can find a different place to discuss this game. It's not hard.
  • This was my decision and mine alone. The other moderators tried to sway my opinion but cynicism got the best of me as usual.

We've kept an eye on the No Man's Sky subreddit in a bit to stay up to date with Hello Games' controversial space game.

Using WayBackMachine, which archives the internet, we can see a number of posts from disgruntled No Man's Sky players who are upset at the lack of updates from Hello Games and its development chief Sean Murray.

However, these kinds of complaints are familiar. In fact, they've defined discussion about No Man's Sky ever since it came out in August.

Users of the subreddit are understandably upset that it's been shut down, with many questioning r0ugew0lf's decision. There's also surprise at how easy it is for one person to close a large subreddit.

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The No Man's Sky subreddit was popular enough for its closure to draw the interest of Reddit's community team. A post by a Reddit admin suggests a bid to reinstate the subreddit.

Following up on his announcement post, r0ugew0lf commented to complain about the lack of moderator support, which may help explain his exasperation.

  • Is it possible to get more moderator support? We've been out here basically on our own dealing with a toxic community with little support from the admin's side. Moderator tools were always put on standstill after advertisements and AMAs. We've been waiting for a legitimate modmail overhall [sic] for longer than I've been a moderator, and we're only just now getting a beta that is very exclusive.
  • Moderators seem to be a second thought behind making money here on this platform. I feel as if there could be much better support for your first line of defense against and general hate. Lately it feels as if Reddit is more about the publicity and adverting [sic].

Recent mod comments on chat program Discord were made public and archived on Imgur. The Discord posts reveal r0ugew0lf notifying the other mods of his decision to shut down the NMS subreddit. The mods seem nonplussed, with just a couple of dissenting comments.

Some have accused r0ugew0lf of trolling the No Man's Sky community, and remain unconvinced by the explanation for his actions.

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This isn't the first time the No Man's Sky subreddit has hit the headlines. After Kotaku reported a delay to the game, the subreddit exploded with anger, and death threats were issued.

After No Man's Sky came out and disappointed some, Hello Games has worked to improve technical aspects of the game with patches, but the Guildford developer has been criticised for a lack of communication.

Just hours after the No Man's Sky subreddit was closed, an alternative, simply titled r/no_mans_sky, was set up. It already has nearly 7000 subscribers, and is packed with comments about the end of the main thread. Some are calling it a fresh start for online discussion of the game.

Meanwhile, /r/NoMansSkyTheGame remains offline.

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