An independent advertising regulator, the British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), have come out and said Hello Games didn’t exaggerate in their advertising of No Man’s Sky on the Steam marketplace.
The ASA, who published their findings online, investigated the developers following 23 complaints of false advertising for the PC version of No Man’s Sky following its launch in August. They said “we considered that the overall impression of the ad was consistent with gameplay… and that it did not exaggerate the expected player experience of the game.”
To sum up their findings, the ASA have denied that anything shown was misleading, mostly due to No Man’s Sky being a procedurally generated game with variation in experiences from player to player. Contentious issues included, bodies of water, space battles, UI, graphics, NPC flight patterns and animal behaviours.
It’s important to note that Hello Games provided videos and screenshots to prove that their game wasn’t misleading, which is a tiny bit troubling for a number of reasons given their track history. Although the ASA acknowledged that “the majority of the footage provided came from a play-through that had started from the beginning of the game and lasted for four hours.”
Although they cleared the game of breaching advertising standards, there were some areas that the ASA found inconsistent from trailers, as they state in their report “animals in the trailer were shown moving large trees, which was not observed in the footage or during gameplay, we considered that this was a fleeting and incidental scene, unlikely in itself to influence materially a consumer’s decision to purchase the game.”
If the footage they’re referring to there is the glorious Jurassic Park style trailer we were shown, I can’t help but scratch my head and wonder how that wouldn’t influence purchasers, but anyway… here we are, no slap on the wrist for Hello Games. It’s probably time to watch this again:
Love it or hate it, No Man’s Sky has passed one independent regulators critical eye, just in time for the foundation update I might add. You can read the ASA’s full report here, but be warned, it’s not very interesting. And if you’re playing NMS again, let us know how many giant sand worms you find near your base…