Not fixed, a gross oversimplification.
Like the success of motion controls for a time, people wanted a new way of playing a game. A new way of gaming period. We haven’t had one for a while and NMS promised to be a larger more spacelike world than ever before and that’s what it is. Planet sized planets, star system sized star systems… What other game has this?
Here’s a for instance. Uncharted comes along and does everything that Tomb Raider has in the past. But it’s heralded as phenomenal. It didn’t reinvent anything it just added better graphics and dialogue and voice acting. It’s just like any other 3rd person shooter you’ve played. The maps may be larger, more detailed etc… but people don’t shit on it because they have fun with it and stop caring.
NMS inspired people’s imaginations and they ran with it. They expected more than what was there because it’s fun to imagine things. Reality isn’t that simple.
How do you create say a space exploring game without realistic travel times? technologies? downtime? hazards? that exist in real life but also create a challenge that’s fun but not as stressful and shitty as real life?
Pokemon Go meanwhile takes the oldest of old ideas and puts them on our phones. We love it because it’s a different way of playing a game that’s an old tired formula. NMS is a better version of some of thing things we’ve had in the past like scale and atmosphere but it’s not mobile, it’s not motion controls, it’s not VR atm, it’s not holographic or anything “different” enough to get people to forget that it’s just a game like everything else.
A sci fi game in a world of first person shooters that are gritty on small maps with annual DLC.
The moral of the story? Know what style of games you like to play and judge your level of excitement according to that. I don’t care for dating sims. But if something like Catherine is coming out and everyone is losing their shit. I’m smart enough to know that I probably shouldn’t waste my money on it without renting or watching it or even flat out ignoring it.