The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has rejected the claims that No Man’s Sky’s Steam store page deliberately misled consumers. The complainants “believed that some of the game content was not as depicted or described”. After a lengthy back and forth between the ASA, Hello Games, and Valve the verdict is that No Man’s Sky is not in breach of advertising regulations and no further action is required.
All screenshots, videos and descriptions of No Man’s Sky on Steam can therefore remain exactly as they are.
A total of 23 complainants took time out of their day to complain, claiming the videos were misleading by depicting large-scale space combat, competing factions, quicker warp speeds and more advanced animal behavior. They also said the accompanying text promised no loading screens.
“The summary description of the game made clear that it was procedurally generated, that the game universe was essentially infinite, and that the core premise was exploration,” reads the statement from the ASA. “As such, we considered consumers would understand the images and videos to be representative of the type of content they would encounter during gameplay, but would not generally expect to see those specific creatures, landscapes, battles and structures.
“We understood that the screenshots and videos in the ad had been created using game footage, and acknowledged that in doing this the advertisers would aim to show the product in the best light. Taking into account the above points, we considered that the overall impression of the ad was consistent with gameplay and the footage provided, both in terms of that captured by Hello Games and by third parties, and that it did not exaggerate the expected player experience of the game. We therefore concluded that the ad did not breach the Code.”
I’m sure that’s enough to set the denizens of the No Man’s Sky subreddit into a seething rage once more, but I think it’s nice to draw a line under it at long last. I’m of the opinion that Hello Games never deliberately misled consumers; No Man’s Sky is just a bad game which got an inordinate amount of attention and hype.
You can check the full ruling for yourself if you want to delve a little deeper. It breaks down every complaint about No Man’s Sky and reveals the ASA’s findings. Read between the lines however and you can see the ASA hiding a little bit behind the ‘18 quintillion planets’ claim. It’s easy for Hello Games to say everything in the trailer is in the game, it’s another thing to prove it’s not.
Hello Games cleared of any wrongdoing with No Man’s Sky then, do you think this is the right call? Is this disappointment that just spiraled out of controlled or do you believe Hello Games deliberately deceived gamers? Let us know!