Debate has dominated the release of No Man’s Sky, and the subsequent fallout. Fans say they were lied to, misled, and ripped off, and the company was finally investigated for false advertising.
After 23 formal complaints made to the Advertising Standards Authority, they’ve officially found No Man’s Sky to be innocent. Most complaints had to do with the disparities between the trailers and actual in-game footage, to which the ASA had this to say:
“The ad contained several screenshots and two different video trailers for the game, as well as a text description. We understood that, as NMS was procedurally generated, player experiences would vary according to what material was generated in their play-through. 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. 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 therefore considered whether the game and footage provided by Hello Games contained gameplay material of a sufficiently similar type to that depicted in the ad.”
They also stress that some differences were because of changes to the interface and aiming system done in testing for the game, and players should have taken that into account before complaining about differences. Most differences between footage and gameplay were officially written off as “fleeting and incidental” such as certain animals moving larger trees, which was “unlikely in itself to influence materially a consumer’s decision to purchase the game.”
Legally, No Man’s Sky is in the clear. Valve and Hello Games did not technically mislead fans in the advertising of the game. Whether or not fans will calm down after this ruling is open for debate. Hello Games wasn’t very transparent in the creation of No Man’s Sky, and some people found that to be the most egregious offence.
Do you think No Man’s Sky was a game built on false advertising? Or was it just a case of player hype gone wrong? Feel free to share in the comments.