No Man’s Sky wasn’t falsely advertised on its Steam page, and the game’s marketing material, though slightly different to the finished product, was deemed “unlikely to mislead”. These were the conclusions from an investigation by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority.
No Man’s Sky has been a very contentious gaming title ever since it launched to massive excitement from eager fans. Unfortunately, that excitement soon turned to wrath as users became disillusioned with the game’s features and performance. Many requested their money back, and soon afterwards the studio developing the game began being investigated for false advertising by the ASA.
The regulator analyzed the marketing material and videos provided by Hello Games, No Man’s Sky’s developer, and compared these to the actual game. Though many gamers may strongly disagree, the standards organization did not find anything wrong with Hello Games’ marketing approach.
Investigators checked the game to see if the advertised features were present and relatively easily accessible on a regular playthrough. They did find a few irregularities, such as certain navigation maneuvers not being present or animal behavior being somewhat different in the marketing material. However, the ASA decided these were “fleeting and incidental”, ultimately not deceiving users. Regarding the much more contentious large-scale space battles depicted, Hello Games admitted these would be “more unusual”, but provided footage of similar events taking place in-game.
Finally, regarding the graphic fidelity advertised in the marketing material, the ASA commented that this was dependent on the user’s hardware and the videos and materials did not mislead the public. The Advertising Standards Authority did concede that Hello Games tried to show No Man’s Sky “in the best light” and promote what a procedurally-generated universe would be capable off.
Many users might disagree with the findings, but fans of the game, who are currently enjoying the new “Foundation Update”, may find this another point on their favor.