The procedurally-generated adventure game, set in one of the largest in-game universes ever conceived, was atop many a gamer’s wishlist for years, but upon release it felt the wrath of the masses. One of the primary criticisms of the game was that it didn’t fulfil the promises set out in its marketing campaign.
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It’s for this reason that an advertising regulation board is investigating No Man’s Sky for false advertising.
The UK Advertising Standards Authority has confirmed (via Eurogamer) that it has received numerous complaints about the game, primarily focused on its Steam page and assets some argue aren’t representative of the final state of the game.
This authority can demand all offending advertisements be removed, and impose sanctions if the advertiser refuses to comply. This could involve Google removing all PPC (pay-per-click) ads for No Man’s Sky.
One complaint was shown in detail on Reddit, centred on screenshots and videos that show more flora and fauna than what is actually available in the game.
The screenshots also misrepresent the graphical quality of the final game, according to the complaint.
The Steam page references limited loading screens, which some claim is false, as all hyperdrive warps initiate an animated loading screen between locations.
“I figured that if we want Steam store pages for games to start falling in-line and stop misleading consumers, then it would take consumers to point these problems out to the ASA, rather than all sit around on Reddit complaining to each other but assuming that it’ll all get sorted by itself eventually,” said the person making the complaint.
No Man’s Sky isn’t the only game to come under fire for false advertising. In 2013, Aliens: Colonial Marines was sued by a class action, with claims developer Gearbox and publisher SEGA false misrepresented the final product. The case was settled out of court.