The UK-based Advertising Standards Authority has taken the claims of many seriously, and is investigating No Man’s Sky– and Steam– for false advertising.
Although many have felt disappointed by how the game turned out, the official investigation is centered around the game’s Steam page, where there is evidence of: different flight behavior; different animal behavior; larger-scale space combat; different structures; flowing water; NPC spaceship behaviors; trade convoys between stars; and competing factions than appeared in the released game. This is not to mention more technical issues, like different UI, load times, aiming, and graphics quality.
“AzzerUK”, the Reddit handle of the person who issued a formal ASA complaint, has mixed feelings about the release. He didn’t request a refund, but he felt “personally misled” when he saw “just how vastly different the trailers for No Man’s Sky were from the actual released game.”
He continues, explaining that he hopes complaints like this one will “forc[e] publishers that use [Valve’s] platforms to show realistic, actual, genuine, non-pre-rendered or scripted gameplay trailers and footage, and screenshots actually taken in-game from real game code that is going to be what the consumer purchases.”
Redditors have equally mixed feelings about AzzerUK’s actions, either wanting greater retribution, or feeling that this will simply slow Hello Games’ fixes. (If the ASA finds No Man’s Sky guilty of the claims, the relevant advertising will be pulled– with all advertising at risk.)
Both Sony’s president, Shuhei Yoshida, and an early proponent of the game, Geoff Keighley, have spoken to their perception on the game’s failure to properly market the game. Now, it remains to be seen what the ASA will make of these failures.