Sony will not require No Man's Sky players to have a PlayStation Plus membership for the game's online experience.
The company confirmed that, because of the unique nature of the features of the game, the usual paid subscription for online play will not apply to the title. However, players will still need access to the internet to access online features of the game, including the atlas.
"PS Plus won't be a requirement to play online, however you will need to connected to the internet for your discoveries to register with the universal atlas," a Sony representative told Game Informer when asked about it.
So, why does No Man's Sky get a break on the usual subscription model Sony requires for PlayStation 4 online play? Technically, the game isn't really multiplayer, which is what PlayStation Plus generally supports. Both Sony and developer Hello Games see the title as a single-player game and even list it that way online. The game features an unlimited amount of randomly-generated planets in a vast universe, and because of that, players won't really run into each other, even when online.
"No Man's Sky is an epic science fiction adventure set across an infinite universe, in which every star is the light of a distant sun, orbited by planets filled with life — each yours to visit. Explore never before seen worlds, discover unique lifeforms and trade, fight and survive on a galactic scale," reads the game's official description. "A mystery lies at the center of the galaxy, an irresistible pulse that draws you on an epic voyage to discover the true nature of the cosmos. Your journey will be charged with danger, encountering hostile creatures and fierce pirates; in order to survive, you will need to prepare, upgrading your ship, suit and weapons."
The infinite universe of No Man's Sky is why Sony waived its usual requirement of making players sign up for a paid PlayStation Plus membership for online games. No Man's Sky is only multiplayer in the sense of the atlas, which is really only a database for players to record the planets and worlds they visit (with each being completely different).
"The universe of No Man's Sky is incredibly vast," Hello Games' Sean Murray wrote on the PlayStation blog when explaining its delayed release. "More than you can imagine. This is a type of game that hasn't been attempted before, by a smaller team than anyone would expect, under an intense amount of expectation."
No Man's Sky releases on PlayStation 4 on Aug. 9 and PC on Aug. 12.