No Man’s Sky’s Steam Page Didn’t Mislead Gamers, Rules UK Ad Watchdog

Shortly after it officially launched in August on PlayStation and Windows, No Man’s Sky — the game that sees the protagonist explore space and experience uncertain places — was accused of false advertising. Players felt that the pictures and videos used to promote the game on its Steam page didn’t represent the sort of things players might expect to encounter in the game. Today, a UK advertising regulator has ruled the opposite — the game didn’t mislead gamers. Ars Technica reports: The complainants — who had been part of a semi-organized campaign upset with the state of the game at release — insisted that the screenshots on the storefront had seemed to promise various features that turned out to be absent from the final game. These included things like the appearance and behavior of animals, large in-game buildings, large-scale space combat, loading screens, a promised system wherein the different factions contested galactic territory, and general graphical polish. Hello Games’ defense rested on the fact that No Man’s Sky is procedurally generated, and that while players would not enjoy the exact experience shown in promotional images, they could reasonably expect to see similar things. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) agreed, saying: “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.” It also ruled that the developers hadn’t misled customers over graphics: “We understood the graphical output of the game would be affected by the specifications of each player’s computer, and considered that consumers would generally be aware of this limitation.”

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