Hell hath no fury like a gamer conned. Apparently, the disgruntled players of “No Man’s Sky” are ganging up on Hello Games and Sean Murray, for they believe that they were misled into thinking that the game would contain similar features found in its official trailers. And it seems that they now have the upper hand as the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has confirmed recently that the developers are being investigated.
Eurogamer reported Wednesday that the ASA has officially launched an investigation on the controversy surrounding “No Man’s Sky.” An agency representative has revealed that the investigation was initiated after “several complaints” against the game were forwarded to the ASA.
One of the complainants opened a subreddit on Tuesday to share with the gaming community what the ASA told him about the issue concerning the alleged misrepresentation in the game’s trailers, screenshots and general information posted on Steam.
“I can’t speak about other countries, but in the U.K. that (sic) are regulations about providing advertising material that could mislead a consumer in some way e.g. displaying things that do not, in fact, exist,” Reddit user AzzerUK wrote.
The redditor then added that the ASA in the U.K. responded to him, saying that both Hello Games and Valve have a “joint responsibility” over the alleged misrepresentations. The ASA also assured that both organizations have since been requested to respond to the issues pointed out in the complaints filed against them.
“We will ensure the advertisers are made aware of any points relating to other marketing material under their control (such as the Hello Games YouTube channel and website),” the ASA was quoted as saying by AzzerUK. "The outcomes of ASA investigations are cross-applicable to other marketing making the same claims, so any decision reached in relation to the Steam page would apply to other advertising for No Man’s Sky where the same (or materially similar) claims appear."
Other gamers quickly gave their two cents on the issue, with some pointing out the inconsistencies of the official descriptions for the game from the things that are really part of “No Man’s Sky.” For example, Reddit user Shoden pointed out that a Steam blurb for the game states that “every star is the light of a distant sun, each orbited by planets filled with life” when, in reality, the Skybox star is the only thing that orbits in the game. The disgruntled gamer also noted how there are limitations when it comes to flying from deep space to the planets.
Meanwhile, Reddit user Furinkazan616 stressed how Sean Murray is involved in this “false advertising” controversy. The Redditor wrote: “You know what one of the worst things is for me about this whole 'lies' debacle? This: http://www.no-mans-sky.com/2016/08/what-do-you-do-in-no-mans-sky/ blog post on NMS's official site, posted the day before release, in which Sean eagerly points out all the hype videos and publicity they've done, and asserts that what you see there is what you do in 'No Man's Sky.'”
Since “No Man’s Sky” was launched in early August, many players were displeased with how it failed to live up to their expectations that were intensified by all the publicity the game’s developers made prior its release. Many disgruntled players quickly asked for refunds despite having played the game for several hours. This eventually prompted Steam to reiterate that refund requests are only honored if the game has been played for less than two hours within 14 days since it was purchased.
As previously reported, Sony’s Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida put the blame on Hello Games and Sean Murray for giving unrealistic expectations to players prior “No Man’s Sky’s” release. Yoshida even said the time that Murray’s PR strategy wasn’t great and that he understood the criticisms against the game.
Amid the controversy “No Man’s Sky” is facing, however, its developers are still working hard to release updates and patches every now and then. Hello Games also assured players that once the developers are done addressing the game’s bugs, new features would be introduced into the game.