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After receiving numerous complaints about No Man’s Sky misleading advertising, Uk’s Advertising Standards Authority has begun an investigation into the matter. Eurogamer was the first source to get confirmation from the Agency that the investigation was being opened into the potentially misleading advertisements on Steam.
A Reddit user, AzzerUK, claims to have been contacted by ASA regarding its investigation into No Man’s Sky. Hello Games and Valve have reportedly been asked to respond to the videos that showed some of the “Gameplay” for No Man’s Sky. The content in question pertains to animal and ship behavior, large scale space combat, and flowing water affects. The ASA is also possibly looking into the game’s stated size of creatures, structures, and buildings seen in screenshots before release.
Along with this laundry list of suspected misleading content, the ASA will be questioning the graphics shown on Steam compared to that of the actual game, referencing the lack of fighting factions, loading screens, and trading systems between stars.
If the ASA finds evidence to support the complaints they have the power to do a few things. First off they can have the ads taken down and prevent them from being used again. If the advertiser refuses to go along with the ruling then the ASA can employ sanctions, asking search websites to remove the marketers content from search ads.
AzzerUK claims to have filed a formal complaint to ASA over the misleading content on the Steam page. He spoke with Eurogamer stating that he doesn’t feel angry at No Man’s Sky, just that he felt the need to contact the ASA “after seeing just how vastly different the trailers for No Man’s Sky were from the actual released game.” Saying later that he felt “properly misled” by the site.
Earlier this month Shuhei Yoshida, an executive at Playstation, said that he, “understand[s] some of the criticisms especially Sean Murray is getting, because he sounded like he was promising more features in the game from day one. It wasn’t a great PR strategy.”