An "apology" from developer Hello Games over controversial space sim No Man's Sky this weekend has been blamed on a hack by a disgruntled employee.

The incident began on the weekend when Hello Games' Twitter account posted a tweet simply stating that "No Man's Sky was a mistake."

An email was also sent from the account of studio founder Sean Murray to a number of games journalists, reading:

No Man's Sky was a mistake.

I have contacted you because the silence from Hello Games has been unwarranted and unprofessional. The community has asked me to speak up, and I have a confession to make. The game was simply unfinished upon arrival. Our hand was forced by not only Sony, but the community as well. The constant harassment and absolute gross misconduct on the community's part has made it hard to fulfill our artistic vision, while the pressure from Sony to release the game as soon as possible forced us to cut key features. I want to apologize for what we did not deliver on, as the game does not meet up to what our artistic vision was.

However, we do wish that the community was more understanding of our situation. Many people have asked for refunds despite our promise to continually improve and update No Man's Sky. We are just a small studio that has poured our blood, sweat, and tears into this project. The complete lack of respect when it comes to the work we have done absolutely saddens not only myself, but the team as well. We want to improve the game to the point we dreamed of it being and beyond.

I hope everyone affected understands,

Sean Murray

Murray's personal Twitter account, inactive since mid-August, quickly posted this message in response:

Murray went on to tweet that "If anything was a mistake, it was using Linked In without 2FA," suggesting that someone had gained access to his LinkedIn account - and potentially, that Murray used the same password on multiple websites.

Some hours later, the studio seemingly regained control over its accounts, tweeting:

A studio representative later told Mashable that the tweet came from "a disgruntled employee," and that the studio is "currently trying to solve the issue internally."

No Man's Sky debuted in August to significant negative fan response, with many claiming Hello Games had "lied" about the game's feature set.

The last update from the studio had stated that it was working on improving and expanding the game's feature set - but that was over a month ago.

Always use two-factor authentication.