In September, the anger of disgruntled “No Man’s Sky” player was so intense that the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) decided to conduct an investigation on the marketing campaign that Hello Games and Sean Murray used in advertising the game. In the same month, Sony Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida commented that Murray may have indeed promised more features in the game that were not available at launch.
Despite the criticisms that consumers have thrown against “No Man’s Sky” developers and in spite of voicing out their strong distaste for Murray’s gesture of allegedly “over-promising” ahead of the game’s release, the ASA ruled in favor of Hello Games and Valve Corporation.
According to the information posted on the ASA’s website, 23 consumers have come forward to complain about the alleged deception that took place. The complainants believed that the content of “No Man’s Sky” did not match what was described or depicted in the ads and the screenshots provided ahead of the game’s release.
To be specific, the case was about the web page for “No Man’s Sky” on Steam. The page contained two gameplay videos and 11 screenshots that show off the features of the action-adventure survival game. After assessing these materials, the ASA ruled that because “No Man’s Sky” was described to be a “procedurally generated” game, it was made clear that players will encounter different content during gameplay. The ASA noted that because of this, players should not expect to see “those specific creatures, landscapes, battles and structures,” shown in the images and videos.
The ASA also maintained that it is understandable why the user interface design and aiming system featured in the videos had undergone cosmetic changes. “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 feature,” the agency added.
The ruling in the case regarding the alleged misleading marketing campaign for “No Man’s Sky” arrived days after the new Foundation Update was released, as per GearNuke. The update came with new features and user interface improvements.
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