Update: Hello Games has now commented on this news, calling it a “non-story” and stating that No Man’s Sky does not make use of the Superformula. You can see their Tweets above!
Original: No Man’s Sky is coming out in a couple of weeks, on August 9th in North America and August 10th in Europe, but trouble might be brewing on that endless horizon. This is because the Dutch company called Genicap is claiming that developer Hello Games is using their formula without permission. The formula in question is called the “Superformula” and is supposed to be the one that allows No Man’s Sky to generate the near-endless amounts of planets for players to explore.
In an earlier interview with the New Yorker, Hello Games founder Sean Murray stated earlier that they are using a “Superformula,” and he added that a certain equation by Belgian plant geneticist Johan Gielis allowed them to create the procedure that creates the planets in the game. As it so happens, Gielis is the Chief Research Officer at Genicap, and he has held the patent to that formula since 2000.
Genicap’s Jeroen Sparrow told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf that Hello Games didn’t reach out to them to ask permission for the use of the formula, and even though Genicap doesn’t seek to delay or stop the game’s release, they do want to talk with Hello Games about this matter. So far, the developer hasn’t responded to Genicap’s requests.
I wish Johan Gielis, the author, all the best in future. We're going to meet and chat maths once the game is out
— Sean Murray (@NoMansSky) July 23, 2016