Sean Murray is excited again. When I meet him, he resembles the developer the Internet got to know, love and, eventually, turn on – fidgety, unintentionally charming, interrupting his own sentences to make new points as they occur to him. But as the conversation goes on, I realise what he’s saying is far from what I remember of the man.
From 2014 to 2016, the Hello Games founder and mouthpiece appeared to be a sort of restless ideas machine, appearing in interviews with the express purpose of pouring out whatever was in his mind, rather than what was safely calcified in code on his computer. It was, by his own admission, a mistake:
“We messed up some of the easy things, in that we talked about the game too early. We were really excited when we talked about the game. We talked about features as they were in development. Press would say to us, ‘It’s so nice to get to sit down with a developer and just talk, you know? You guys don’t seem scripted.’ And we were like, ‘Yeah, we don’t. Why does everyone else do that?’.