Advertising Standards Authority: ‘No Man’s Sky’ ads were not misleading

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The U.K.-based Advertising Standards Authority, an independent regulator, has determined that advertisements made by Hello Games and Valve to promote No Man’s Sky were ultimately not misleading to consumers.

An investigation originally began back in September when the Advertising Standards Authority, or ASA, announced that it was looking into potentially misleading screenshots and other promotional materials that showed off No Man’s Sky‘s procedural generation, animal and nature behavior, user interface, as well as “facts” listed on the game’s Steam page that detailed features not currently implemented.

Hello Games asserted that due to the game’s procedural generation, it was unlikely that players would encounter the exact scenarios displayed on the game’s Steam page. The developer also emphasized that although the game’s description stated that in-game factions would be “vying for territory,” this feature didn’t relate to gameplay in No Man’s Sky, but instead was part of the game’s ongoing narrative and “manifested itself through the player’s journey.” This particular feature is still identified in the game’s description on Steam.

“We understood that, as No Man’s Sky was procedurally generated, player experiences would vary according to what material was generated in their play-through,” said the ASA in its assessment. “We understood that the user interface design and the aiming system has undergone cosmetic changes since the footage for the videos was first recorded. However, we did not consider that these elements would affect a consumer’s decision to purchase the game, as they were superficial and incidental components in relation to the core gameplay mechanics and features.”

The ASA also emphasized that Hello Games provided it with footage related to large-scale space battles and ship behavior that was similar to what had been seen in trailers. What the studio wasn’t able to provide was footage replicating the more complex animal and foliage behavior seen in earlier trailers, but the ASA stated that this was “incidental” and “unlikely in itself to influence materially a consumer’s decision to purchase the game.” Technical claims involving graphical fidelity were also considered non-misleading, as this could vary depending on a user’s PC — should they be using the platform — and a “no loading screens” assertion was also found to be accurate as No Man’s Sky‘s “warping” mechanic was consistent with the game’s tone and did not break immersion.

No Man’s Sky is now available for PlayStation 4 and PC.


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