No Man's Sky's Special Explorer Edition Is Finally Here, and It's Awful

After a half-year delay, the No Man's Sky Explorer Edition starts shipping to customers and it's not what we expected.


No Man's Sky has caught a lot of flak for not living up to gamers' expectations, and whether or not you like the game, the No Man's Sky Explorer Edition is a disappointment. Pre-orders for the No Man's Sky Explorer Edition started last March at iam8bit for $150, and after missing the launch date of the game by almost six months, it's finally started shipping to customers.

The No Man's Sky Explorer Edition was promised to have a game key, and hand-painted ship replica, a traveler pin, an Atlas travelers log, and a display diorama, all contained in a box featuring custom artwork. Players got the game key via email at launch, but until now no one who had ordered their Explorer Edition had received it.

Via YouTube/The Creep

Customers have shared images and video of their No Man's Sky Explorer's Editions via Twitter and YouTube, and while iam8bit has technically delivered the product they promised, for $150 we expected a much more quality set of items. Additionally, iam8bit has not updated the art on its product page for the Explorer's Edition, which shows the same promo pic that it has since pre-orders started with the warning "* art not final," even though the finished product is available. Factoring in the $60 MSRP of the game code that came with the Explorer's Edition, we postulate that customers should have received items worth around $90. We'll take a look at each of the components of the Explorer's Edition individually and break down the issues we have with them.

The Box

Via Instagram/Misato

The box the No Man's Sky Explorer's Edition comes in looks somewhat bootleg. It's a standard cardboard box with a transparent plastic window, instead of something a little more hearty that would stand the test of time. Instead of the dazzling custom artwork that was promised, it has some ugly fuschia dinosaurs and foliage on it. The rear of the box just has company logos and some credits on it.

The Traveler Pin

This is maybe the one bright point of the set. It's a heavy, good quality pin. This must have been contracted out.

The "Display Diorama"

This is just some concept artwork printed on cardboard in the back of the box. It's literally the artwork that sets in the back of the box and slides out so you can kind of sit it behind your spaceship model. You can't count the box as two different "features" of a collector's edition.

The Atlas Traveler's Log

This 60-page or so little notebook looks like one of those Moleskin knockoffs. The pages aren't lined, which doesn't make any sense for a "log." You take notes in logs. Also, the cover is cardboard. You can go to your local Wal-Mart and spend a dollar or two for a full-size notebook with an actual cover with lined paper and make yourself a real log that puts this one to shame.

The Space Pen

The No Man's Sky Explorer's Edition comes with a Fisher Space Pen. These run about $10-20 and probably make up the bulk of the iam8bits expense when it comes to putting this set together. It's kind of cool, but it's sort of an odd inclusion because the only association the item has with No Man's Sky is that it has the word "space" in its name. I guess you're supposed to use it with your Atlas Traveler's Log.

The Hand-Painted Ship Replica

This is the pride and joy of the No Man's Sky Explorer's Edition, and the stated reason for the six-month delay. Multiple Twitter and YouTube users are reporting poor paint quality, including fingerprints dried into their paint, uneven paint jobs, paint smears, and overall tomfoolery. The whole thing is of much lower quality than what was shown as a promo for the No Man's Sky Explorer Edition, including the stand which is just matte gray and not painted at all, which is unsatisfactory according to customers. Also, there are decals included for "customization," but there are already decals painted onto the ship, which is dumb. Also, some customers have had the Explorer's Edition arrive to find that the wings on their ship replicas are broken because of the lack of shock protection of the tissue paper iam8bit chose to wrap the box in during shipping.

Customers are rightfully disappointed. In comparison, for $90 you can get the Persona 5 Take your Heart Collector's Edition that includes a physical copy of the game, a SteelBook case, the soundtrack CD, a plush, a 64-page hardcover art book, a school bag, and an actual collectors box to contain it all. All this from a game that is much more widely anticipated and from a larger developer, and for less money.

The fact of the matter is, if these claims are truthful, and they are very compelling in my opinion, iam8bit oversold and underperformed with the No Man's Sky Explorer's Edition. The terrible state of the product has only added more fuel to the fire concerning No Man Sky's controversial nature. Hopefully, iam8bit will work to make sure dissatisfied customers get fair treatment, but it remains to be seen whether they'll do anything at all.


Several customers on Twitter have been contacted by iam8bit in reference to broken merchandise. It seems that the company is offering to replace any products damaged in shipping.


As pointed out by the man with the briefcase, one of Shacknews' own, hammersuit, received their copy of the No Man's Sky Explorer's Edition. He has confirmed the issues with the set stated in the article are affecting his copy of the Explorer's Edition as well.

As you can see in the images above, there is definitely a fingerprint embedded into the paint of the wing and poor paint coverage on the nose of the ship replica.

Also, the box is really, for real, fuschia.

This report and product analysis references claims made by customers that have received the No Man's Sky Explorer's Edition. These claims are public record and freely searchable. Shacknews assumes no liability as to the accuracy of these individual's statements.

Contributing Editor
From The Chatty
  • reply
    January 10, 2017 3:30 PM

    Jason Faulkner posted a new article, No Man's Sky's Special Explorer Edition Is Finally Here, and It's Awful

    • reply
      January 10, 2017 3:43 PM

      So is this special edition officially by hello games or that 8bit company?

      Looks like one last hornswoggle by the no man's sky crew.

    • reply
      January 10, 2017 4:35 PM

      EVERYONE: Do not order ANYTHING from iam8bit unless you want delays, no communication (aside from promotional emails about things you didn't order) , changed art, and more delays.

      My rez package that I ordered in August arrived days before Xmas. Fuck that company. I will think less of titles that do business with them.

      • reply
        January 10, 2017 8:09 PM

        That has not been my experience with them. I've bought (including pre-orders) several vinyl albums from them and the experience has been very good overall. The only issue I ran into was that tracking didn't work for one order, but it arrived on time anyway.

      • reply
        January 11, 2017 12:21 AM

        I have ordered a poster from them last year and it came on time, properly packaged and the print had very good quality. But - it was sent from their UK branch, I don't know about US.

    • reply
      January 10, 2017 5:00 PM

      I love the disclaimer. It's a new era for journalism, indeed.

      • reply
        January 10, 2017 11:57 PM

        For real.

      • reply
        January 11, 2017 12:10 AM

        Odd that they chose a headline and approach that makes it look like a review/unboxing article when they didn't actually receive one. They could have just reported on the negative reception and feedback and that would have been just as effective.

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          January 11, 2017 12:17 AM

          I found it kinda weird that the article is just a retelling of the youtube video.

          • reply
            January 11, 2017 4:50 AM

            People converting youtube videos into words you can just read at your leisure is a valuable service.

        • reply
          January 11, 2017 4:32 AM

          Yeah weirdly misleading

      • reply
        January 11, 2017 4:31 AM

        Yeah what the

    • reply
      January 11, 2017 12:10 AM

      Producing, selling, and shipping physical merchandise is really hard. Like, *really* hard. If you've never done it before: you will fuck up the packaging, you will fuck up the box assembly, your printer is going to misalign the art, the colors will be off, your shipping company will fuck up the deliveries, and half of your items will arrive broken. There are a dozen people at any major toy company that just work on design review and quality assurance for packaging.

      Sounds to me like the No Man's Sky folks thought it would be a lot easier than it really is. Common mistake for people who haven't designed and sold physical goods before.

      • reply
        January 11, 2017 12:13 AM

        You're mistaken, iam8bit has definitely designed and sold physical goods before. It's their entire business.

      • reply
        January 11, 2017 1:48 AM

        you know whats really easy? producing a review of reviews, and not actually doing any of the work except for parroting what someone else came up with.

        • reply
          January 11, 2017 4:21 AM

          you know whats really easy? producing a review of reviews, and not actually doing any of the work except for parroting what someone else came up with.

    • reply
      January 11, 2017 12:15 AM

      That log looks like something you'd get in a 2 pack at the dollar store.

    • reply
      January 11, 2017 12:26 AM

      So you don't have this in your office and only rely on opinions from the internet? I'm confused. How do you know if it's really "awful" then? It's all very clickbaity.

      • reply
        January 11, 2017 4:18 AM

        It's not clickbaity. We gathered various sources complaining about build quality of this collector's edition, investigated them, came to a conclusion, and wrote an article about it. Seeing as the No Man's Sky Explorer's Edition wasn't sent to any customer who ordered it, much less any publication before this week, after being a half-year past its original release date of August 2016, it makes it a bit difficult to procure.

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          January 11, 2017 4:31 AM

          The title suggests it is Shacknews' opinion that the product is awful. Not that some random people from the Internet say it is. Regardless of the product's actual quality, it is misleading.

          And yes, it is clearly clickbaity, but everyone else is doing it too, so who am I to judge.

          • reply
            January 11, 2017 4:55 AM

            It is Shacknews' opinion, based on the information we gathered, that the product is awful. The title is not misleading in the least.

            An actual "clickbaity" title would be, "No Man's Sky's Special Explorer Edition Is Finally Here, and You'll Never Believe What's Wrong With It," or "No Man's Sky Explorer Edition Finally Arrives, Guess What's Wrong With It"

            I'm not going to argue clickbait semantics because if I titled the article, "Customers Get No Man's Explorer Edition, and It Looks Like The Paint On The Models is Bad, Some Models Arrived Broken, And Other Parts of the Set are Not as Expected," someone would tell me it was "clickbaity."

            Regardless, we reported a story as accurately as we could from a plethora of sources that all showed the same issues with the set. We could have chose to not put any work in and let consumers suffer their discontent with the Explorer Edition in relative silence, but we decided to get the word out instead, and I wholeheartedly stand by this article and that decision.

            • reply
              January 11, 2017 5:16 AM


              I agree it's not clickbaity, but I could suggest that the headline specify that early reports of people receiving their shipment are complaining about the quality. Or, something to that effect.

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                January 11, 2017 7:46 AM

                Yeah, stick an "apparently" or "according to XYZ" or something in the headline

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                  January 11, 2017 8:20 AM

                  I think changing the word "Here" to "Shipping" would appease most people. The phrasing as-is doesn't bother me, but I can see why people would consider it clickbait -- the article's title might lead you to believe Shacknews had first-hand experience evaluating NMS:SEE.

                  • reply
                    January 11, 2017 11:04 AM

                    I mean, there's issues with nearly any title I could have chose. Using the metaphorical "here" wasn't meant to be confusing. However, with the need to make a succinct, catchy title that appeases SEO and also makes the article enticing to read, a sacrifice is going to be made somewhere no matter what article goes up.

                    I tend to actively avoid titles that are much more provocative than the one for this article, even though it would drive much more traffic our way. I've worked for publications in the past that encourage this sort of behavior, and I assure you that no one here purposefully titles an article in an untruthful or inciting manner just to get clicks.

          • reply
            January 11, 2017 4:56 AM

            I agree that the title is misleading, but I don't see how its clickbaity. Clickbait titles are "We've got No Man's Sky Special Explorer Edition... You'll never guess what we think of it!!!!"

            I can literally read the title and not click the article and know what the article is about. It's about how terrible this special edition thing is.

          • reply
            January 11, 2017 5:06 AM

            So how would you have rephrased the title of the article to not be "clickbaity"? Or would you have simply done nothing?

            • reply
              January 11, 2017 5:17 AM

              I guess only I feel it's clickbaity. I concede this point then!

            • reply
              January 11, 2017 5:20 AM

              I certainly wouldn't claim the item is "here" if I didn't have possession of it, but at this point any negative article about NMS is going to seem like clickbait.

              • reply
                January 11, 2017 5:31 AM

                So changing the word "Here" to "Shipping" would solve your qualms with the phrasing?

                • reply
                  January 11, 2017 7:53 AM

                  Quite a bit actually because it implies a hands-on review which they clearly did not do. Having to include that disclosure should have been enough of a smell to just not publish it in the first place.

                  This report and product analysis references claims made by customers that have received the No Man's Sky Explorer's Edition. These claims are public record and freely searchable. Shacknews assumes no liability as to the accuracy of these individual's statements.

            • reply
              January 11, 2017 7:25 AM

              I would have reviewed the actual product myself. Then it wouldn't be an issue.

          • reply
            January 11, 2017 6:02 AM

            lolz you're probably the biggest NMS fan on shack, big surprise you'd be upset

            • reply
              January 11, 2017 7:43 AM

              I love this attitude towards someone actually liking a game on here for once, jesus fuck, let's git 'im guys, let's make sure to hound this fucker until he stops posting so we can feel better about ourselves

              • reply
                January 11, 2017 7:46 AM

                You're not allowed to like things that are universally disliked here. Everybody has fun bashing on NMS and now somebody wants to come in and express a positive opinion on it? OH HELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL NO.

                (fwiw I think the game is just fine and has been since launch)

                • reply
                  January 11, 2017 8:09 AM

                  I actually like NMS and didn't say anything bashing it. This comment thread is in reference to the contents of the $150 No Man's Sky Explorer's edition, specifically the packaging and trinkets inside, not the game itself.

                • reply
                  January 11, 2017 8:29 AM

                  S'allgood homie, you don't gotta defend your position, least of all to a shit hyperbolic post like mine :D

                  • reply
                    January 11, 2017 8:30 AM

                    Whoops, obviously meant for CyCo_PL's reply.

              • reply
                January 11, 2017 7:56 AM

                Put away the jump to conclusions mat, I liked NMS also, just not so much that I get offended at any type of criticism of anything tangentially related to the game.

                • reply
                  January 11, 2017 8:27 AM

                  You're saying he's taken offense on behalf of a product, so I dunno who rolled out their official Jump to Conclusions mat here, I dunno

            • reply
              January 11, 2017 7:54 AM

              I'm with him, I thought NMS was actually an ok game (I got enough hours out of it to feel happy)

              I also dont like that there are articles that are just taking someones elses opinion and selling it as shacknews opinion.

              I know the shack guys in this thread are saying they did their proper research, but well.... if you don't have the thing sitting on your desk, then your research is reaaaally lacking. Item not being shipped to you until next week? Well, how about doing an article next week when you've actually seen the thing

    • reply
      January 11, 2017 1:10 AM

      A special edition that doesn't include a waifu pillowcase? Fuck that.

    • reply
      January 11, 2017 4:37 AM

      Product looks bad, but article seems a little too gleeful in hating on it

      • reply
        January 11, 2017 10:13 AM

        I'm against any product that woefully fails to meet consumer expectations. If that reflected in my writing, I'm glad.

    • reply
      January 11, 2017 5:00 AM

      Heh, it's funny they try to entice gamers to buy a bad game by giving them a free toy with purchase.

      • reply
        January 11, 2017 5:12 AM

        $150 isn't exactly free.

      • reply
        January 11, 2017 5:17 AM

        No Man's Cereal

      • reply
        January 11, 2017 5:36 AM

        No Man's Happy Meal

      • reply
        January 11, 2017 7:21 AM

        Is it still bad? Ive heard quite a few come around on it.

        • reply
          January 11, 2017 7:34 AM

          I used to sub to the NMS subreddit so it was always on my front page, complaint after complaint after complaint. But I tuned it out, and eventually they dropped off in frequency.

          Then they released 3 or 4 patches to the game, and fuckers WOULD NOT STOP POSTING raves about the game. I finally unsubbed to shut the goddamn subreddit up.

        • reply
          January 11, 2017 8:01 AM

          I think it's less that it's bad and more that it's not the game people were expecting, based on errant speculation, misleading marketing info (i.e., the creatures on the planets in the videos looked cool, the procedurally generated creatures on the planets you actually wind up on look like dinosaurs with downs syndrome), and conflicting info until the last minute on how the persistent online stuff worked (i.e., statements on the Colbert show implied there would be some sort of multiplayer, the PS4 versions in some countries had to modify the Multiplayer icon with a sticker, etc.)

        • reply
          January 11, 2017 8:13 AM

          I never thought it was bad. It failed to meet expectations at launch, but that was largely due to Sony and Hello Games doing an awful job setting expectations. I still enjoyed it anyway and the latest patch made a lot of significant improvements.

        • reply
          January 11, 2017 8:44 AM

          Doubt it will ever be more than just an 'average' game to most people.

          If you like the atmosphere though it can become something weird and special. There aren't many games like it, for better or worse.

          If you're looking for raw gameplay and 'fun' you're probably not gonna find it for more than a few hours on NMS.

    • reply
      January 11, 2017 8:45 AM


      hammersuit was dumb enough to buy this piece of crap and sent me some pictures.

      Sure does look like a finger print in the paint.

      More pics.

      His hot take explanation of why he bought it:

      So there you have it. First hand confirmation that this thing is not as expected. Not to mention the slew of people posting tweets and pictures of the same problems in response to this article's tweet.

      There are also a myriad of posts on Reddit about this same issue.


      Not My Shacknews

      • reply
        January 11, 2017 8:52 AM

        * [ E O T ' D ] *

      • reply
        January 11, 2017 9:03 AM

        I don't really care that much just pointing out that this kind of "first hand" stuff is what I would expect to PROMPT the article being written in the first place, not some additional supplement to be added 24 hours later.

        • reply
          January 11, 2017 9:06 AM

          We didn't call it a review, as is our policy when we actually review something, in the headline and we were abundantly clear that this was another customer's video review alongside other reports.

          We should be commended for not buying this piece of trash.

          • reply
            January 11, 2017 9:10 AM

            Eh, as has been pointed out in this thread multiple times it is in no way clear what the source of this info is from the headline. I think it's pretty clear to everyone that if you added "according to internet comments" the article would likely do worse in terms of traffic.

            I really don't want to roast you guys too hard here because I know the current culture of journalism is not your fault and you guys are just adapt-or-dying like everyone else.

        • reply
          January 11, 2017 10:11 AM

          So, we should only care about a product being inferior to what's promised if it's something we receive? That seems like a pretty shitty attitude to have.

          • reply
            January 11, 2017 10:18 AM

            No, typically in journalism you need first-hand sources to put up a story about something. At least in the olden days.

            "A bunch of random people said..." isn't really a credible source. That's not really something I need to read an article for.

            • reply
              January 11, 2017 10:29 AM

              A bunch of random people with video and photographic evidence all mentioning the same issue adds up to a strong measure of credibility for a story. Basically what your saying is no one should report anything they don't witness with their own eyes.

              Additionally all of the records mentioned in this article would be considered "primary sources," which means this story is written from first-hand sources. We didn't quote someone saying someone else said that their No Man's Sky Explorer's Edition was, we researched a situation by gathering information directly from the sources of the complaints, came to a conclusion, and disseminated the information and our opinion on it to the public. We didn't just sit around and make shit up.

              One or two reports of issues with the product, we would have passed on, but obviously this is a major issue with many who received the Explorer's Edition. With or without your approval, this is a credible news story.

              • reply
                January 11, 2017 10:54 AM

                The only thing I really disapprove of is trying to bury the fact that your sources were random people on the internet via the headline and the disclaimer being at the very end of the article.

                I agree that this is totally a newsworthy story.

                • reply
                  January 11, 2017 10:57 AM

                  For the disclaimer, blame Google for that. If we put it at the head of the article it would have pulled it as the META description for search results. That's why for reviews and other articles we need disclaimers for, they're typically always at the bottom.

              • reply
                January 12, 2017 1:58 AM

                "Basically what your saying is no one should report anything they don't witness with their own eyes. "

                Screw it, I'll bite.

                Yes, this is exactly how I think journalism should work. You can hear rumours and reports from other sources, and then YOU go and do actual research (that doesn't involve just browsing someone elses comments and website) and then you make an article based on your personal opinion.

                If I want news that is basically just news pulled from every other place, I'll go to reddit.

                I come here for your personal opinion, I want to hear YOUR opinions here, not some other dudes and certainly not your opinion based on someone elses opinion.

                • reply
                  January 12, 2017 8:50 AM

                  You do realize that it's not always feasible to do this, right? Do you think every piece of news you've ever read is based on a singular person's "actual research?" I'm here to tell you it's not. I've worked with several different newsrooms over the years, in fact, where much of the work is simply parroted out. It's hardly researched. It's barely fact-checked. You don't know as much about news as you think you do. That mindset is borne out of a need for quick coverage, SEO, and providing the facts in an expedient manner and correctness often gets thrown out in turn. If you ever work in one of these environments, you'll quickly learn the ins and outs, which are far from optimal.

                  Aside from that, however, this article was put together as a PSA gathering reports from the community. Would it have been better for you if we asked members of the Chatty to report on their experiences? Would that have been different somehow?

                  In this situation, how would you have recommended we report on it firsthand when we hadn't received one? The press wasn't just awarded one of these things, you know, at least we weren't. So we had to look elsewhere for comment since it was a situation that was rising via iam8bit's tweets and Twitter's various users. Most, if not all of the reports from buyers that were floating in corroborated the same story, which is why we collected those claims in the first place and rounded some of them up.

                  In fact, I myself had ordered one in March and as of mid-December still hadn't received one. After numerous claims it was shipping I was under the impression it was just never going to come. It seemed as though I wasn't going to receive mine. I wanted to write about it if I did receive it at some point, and I would have offered to do so. But since it seemed bleak, I asked for a refund. Amazingly, I got one despite the fact that so many others had reported being denied one. Most folks still don't have their product or a refund, even though some are reporting receiving one or the other now,

                  At the time of putting this piece together we did not have knowledge that hammersuit actually had purchased one of these things, but he did offer his photos and personal opinion in the article if you're wanting it straight from someone from Shacknews.

                  I'm all for improving any factual errors or problems with my own personal pieces, but the fact that we care about providing some sort of information that we're hearing about from real members of the gaming community shouldn't be berated as lazy or not our opinion. My opinion from seeing these things up close and personal with the photos? It's garbage. I'm glad I got my money back.

      • reply
        January 11, 2017 9:04 AM


      • reply
        January 11, 2017 9:10 AM

        haha nice summary. Not My Shacknews

    • reply
      January 11, 2017 10:59 AM

      That's no fingerprint, that's texture depth!

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