Update July 25, 2016: No Man's Sky lead developer Sean Murray has taken to Twitter to put to rest speculation about whether a recent claim made by a Dutch company would affect the release of Hello Games' space epic.
No, he says. In fact, they didn't use the superformula when creating the game at all. It's also very unlikely he would be speaking so openly about it if the team were worried - their lawyers would probably be doing the talking if that was the case.
Distract yourself from your earthly cage with our list of the best space games.
Here are the tweets putting the situation to rest:
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) 23 July 2016
Everyone isn't chilling, however.
People are now worried that the PC version of the game has been delayed by a few days. Where originally it was to release on August 9, the official site is now saying it will release on August 12. Sean Murray's mentions are hell right now, but he's stayed completely silent on the matter so far.
At least if there is a short delay, it's nothing to do with patent troubles.
Original Story: July 20, 2016: Hello Games just can't catch a break, can they? No Man's Sky has finally gone gold after fighting through a troubled development filled with floods and secret legal battles, and now, right near release, another potential issue crops up.
It was only recently that Hello Games revealed that they had been having a legal battle over the word 'Sky', which some are speculating led to the short delay the game faced. Now a Dutch company claim they have a patent on the formula used to power No Man's Sky's procedural generation.
"We haven't provided a license to Hello Games," says Genicap's Jeroen Sparrow, transalted via NeoGAF. "We don't want to stop the launch, but if the formula is used we'll need to have a talk."
In an interview with the New Yorker last year, Hello Games lead architect Sean Murray explained how the team looked to biology to create a procedural universe that straddled the line between diversity and chaos.
Eventually Murray stumbled upon an equation, published in 2003 by a Belgian plant geneticist named Johan Gielis, and that's when No Man's Sky's procedural generation began to, well, take shape.
Johan Gielis, it turns out, is the Chief Research Officer at Genicap, via Gamezone. He has also patented the application of the superformula, which covers using the equation to "create 2-D images, 3-D images and/or animations", so it looks like the accusation may perhaps have legs.
There's a good chance the Murray and the team at Hello Games have tweaked it beyond recognition though, essentially making it their own. For now, all we have is speculation.