Some time back, the Advertising Standards Agency in the UK looked into complaints by players of No Man’s Sky about possible misleading details on the game’s Steam page. Months later, the ASA has ruled in favour of Hello Games, stating that the developer did not in fact mislead players.
The concerns centered around screenshots and videos showcasing aspects that weren’t actually in the game along with a different visual style. The ASA detailed major concerns and explained its ruling.
Since the game is procedurally generated, perfectly replicating everything seen in the screenshots wouldn’t possible. “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.”
As for the limited trade or fighting factions over territories, the ASA noted, “In relation to the claim ‘trade convoys travel between stars’, the footage provided by Hello Games showed trade ships ‘warping’ into systems after travelling between solar systems. We therefore understood that this feature existed in the game.”
“With regard to the claim ‘factions vie over territory’, we considered that consumers would understand from this that more than one faction would be present in the game, holding specific territory, and that there would be aspects of the game relating to tensions over territories and faction activities.
“We understood that players could interact with three different factions, who occupied specific areas, and could take part in battles between opposing factions (which would increase their reputation with the faction they defended). Noting the explanation and footage provided by Hello Games, we did not consider that this description differed materially from the relevant gameplay features.”
It’s worth reading the full report for more information on what the ASA considers “misleading” and “not misleading” but what’s your take on the whole issue? Do you believe you were duped with No Man’s Sky? Let us know in the comments.