UPDATE: Sean Murray has said on Twitter that No Man’s Sky does not use Genicap’s “superformula” or infringe any patents.
Despite being complete and ready for its release on 9 August 2016, No Man’s Sky may have run into another serious problem.
According to a report from PC Gamer, the algorithm Hello Games uses to generate the massive amount of planets in its upcoming space game may not actually belong to the game developer.
A Dutch company named Genicap claims to own the algorithm, which Sean Murray refers to as the “Superformula”, and stated that Hello Games does not have a license to use the formula in No Man’s Sky.
“We haven’t provided a license to Hello Games,” said Genicap. “We don’t want to stop the launch, but if the formula is used we’ll need to have a talk.”
Genicap is apparently making its own game using the “Superformula” and has tried to contact Hello Games, but the No Man’s Sky developer has not responded to any efforts by Genicap to make contact.
Although Genicap’s claims are currently unconfirmed by Hello Games, Sean Murray may have indirectly confirmed that Genicap has a claim on the “Superformula” in a 2015 interview with the New Yorker.
In the interview, Murray states that he solved the problem of procedural planetary generation by using an equation published by Belgian geneticist Johan Gielis.
Johan Gielis is the Chief Research Officer at Genicap and holds a patent on the “Superformula” used to generate planets in No Man’s Sky.