Advertising Standards Rule No Man's Sky Advertising Did Not Mislead Consumers

Written by Jon Sutton on Wed, Nov 30, 2016 11:24 AM
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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!

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02:46 Dec-02-2016

Maybe the advertisement can be ruled out as not misleading, but there's a video of someone interviewing Sean Murray and of the questions he is directly asked, about 1/3 is a straight up lie.

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00:03 Dec-02-2016

The new update recently did deliver some promises. All we have to do now is wait for the next update and its gonna be huge. You can build bases now and have one of those huge spaceships.

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14:27 Dec-01-2016

ASA, No Man's Sky is a big fat lie
Please

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03:21 Dec-01-2016

Cool story, asa... please tell us more.

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19:50 Nov-30-2016

A game like No Man's Sky that got hyped up so much was bound to lie. Hello Games lied. Its simple, they promised things that aren't in the game.
ASA is a disappointment.

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17:12 Nov-30-2016

LOL :D
Of course, they did not mislead consumers. Who said that?!!


They Outright Lied! :D

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15:25 Nov-30-2016

Sean Murray can finally go back counting our money in peace.

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12:12 Nov-30-2016

Yes, let them get away with it. Good job ASA
/s

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10:50 Nov-30-2016

I'm of the opinion that some people misled themselves rather than Hello Games. As soon as you hear there are 18 quintillion planets it seems quite of obvious that each individual one will be kind of rubbish, no?


It was always about the bigger picture. Of travelling through a near infinite space and creating your adventures. The problem is that everything that is there is just a bit rubbish. Inventory management was a nightmare. Collecting resources was dull. The story was lacking and pretty much pointless. The space combat was basic.


Hopefully it's a game which can get better in time, but I'm a firm believer that procedural generation will never make an experience as good as something handcrafted.

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11:47 Nov-30-2016

You can obviously claim that gaint space battles, large creatures like the giant snake etc might be there but due to to the plethora of generate planets, you might have not encountered it yet. But some other claims such as fully developed..

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11:49 Nov-30-2016

trading system, online connectivity(which Sean very clearly said in multiple interviews would be present) were promised and were not delivered. But I do agree that most part of the controversy originated from people( and Sony) overyhyping.

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12:00 Nov-30-2016

I think the point there is that Sean said what he thought would be in the game. Multiplayer wasn't a lie, things just didn't pan out like he expected. It happens with every game to some degree, nothing ever goes perfectly to plan. His mistake was voicing it all out loud so people could pluck out seconds long extracts and create insanely granular vids about everything he's ever said and done. By this point it's a bit ridiculous. At this stage anyone still angry about it should have got a refund / sold their game / chalked it up as a loss and moved on to bigger and better things.

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12:30 Nov-30-2016

He might have thought well, but he is the head of company and he was the guy advertising the game.
Problem is that he never ever said that everything he said about the game might or might not be included, and he downright confirmed some stuff that just weren't in the base game.
I don't think people are still angry, they are just disappointed.

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13:11 Nov-30-2016

He was hugely ambitious and I don't think there's anything wrong in that. Those early interviews were two years before the game was out. He was just full of ideas and cool things that could be in it. Sending a hate mob Hello Games' way is just stifling future developers from attempting anything remotely ambitious.

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14:57 Nov-30-2016

Its fine that he was ambitious and the hate mobs sent after him were harsh but he did nothing to even lower peoples expectations of the game, it doesn't matter if he said things 6 months ago or two years ago, he should have at least mentioned that some of the features he said were in the game were not actually in the game

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15:31 Nov-30-2016

@Walowizard2137 Agreed. Regardless of his intentions, he said things were going to be in the game, and then on launch, the things weren't in the game. That's the definition of false advertisement, and I wholesomely disagree with the ASA's findings on this matter. And I also agree that the hype train did get out of control, but again, Sean Murray completely failed to communicate with the community and keep the hype in check. If anything, he fostered the hype, and all the false ideas that came with it.

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17:18 Nov-30-2016

He advised people to read a reddit post about the things that you could see in-game mere DAYS before release. That reddit post detailed dozens of features that weren't present in-game... And some of the stuff were big enough that if they weren't being included, he was responsible and should've informed the buyer, I mean he says that the only way you can view your player model is for someone else to see you in-game, and he NEVER corrected this, among dozens of other things...

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20:15 Nov-30-2016

This won't stop other developers being ambitious. This will stop other developers from outright lying to their community and then disappearing without a word for 2 months. If they know the gaming community will smear their name, then they won't ship us a pathetic excuse for a game.

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09:24 Dec-01-2016

The ASA ruling only covers the marketing material put out on steam etc. Sure the guy talked a lot of b***ocks in interviews plugging the game but that's not official marketing material. People need to stop handing over cash based on marketing hype and pre release interviews and wait for independent reviews before buying. It only means waiting a couple of days and it's not as if the digital copies will sell out.

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00:13 Dec-02-2016

@Jon In one of the interviews he pointed out that they release game updates because they were out of time and had to release the game. One of those updates has been delivered. You can now base build. You also have 3 different game modes.

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