Advertising Standards launches investigation into No Man’south Sky
Practice videos and screenshots misrepresent the game?
The Advertising Standards Authority has confirmed to Eurogamer that information technology has launched an investigation into No Man’south Sky.
The watchdog launched its investigation afterward receiving “several complaints” about No Man’due south Heaven advertisement, a representative told me.
The ASA has the power to have advertisements it believes are in breach of its code of deport withdrawn, and preclude them from appearing again. If an advertiser refuses to comply with an ASA ruling, it can impose sanctions, such as asking cyberspace search websites to remove a marketer’s paid-for search ads.
The investigation is on-going, and then the ASA declined to comment farther, but one of the complainants revealed details of its response in a mail on Reddit.
The investigation revolves around No Man’southward Heaven’s Steam store page, which includes avails some believe misrepresent the controversial space game.
The ASA has contacted both Hello Games and Valve and asked them to respond to a raft of questions relating to No Homo’southward Sky advertisements.
Complaints center around screenshots and videos that characteristic more advanced fauna behaviour, large-calibration combat and transport-flying behaviour than ended up in the launch version of the game. Complainants besides say screenshots misrepresent the graphical quality of the game.
There are also complaints effectually the Steam store page’southward reference to a lack of loading screens and factions that contest territory.
While the complaints target Steam, the ASA said any ruling would utilize to other advertizing for No Man’s Heaven, such as official YouTube videos and the game’s list on the PlayStation Store.
No Man’due south Sky and its main developer Sean Murray accept come under fire since the August launch of the hotly-anticipated game, with some players feeling it did not turn out equally promised.
“AzzerUK”, the Reddit user who issued a formal complaint to the ASA, told me he doesn’t feel enraged at No Man’s Sky, Hello Games or Steam, but felt the need to contact the watchdog “later seeing only how vastly unlike the trailers for No Man’due south Heaven were from the actual released game”.
AzzerUK did not request a refund for the game, “but I did feel personally misled”, he said. “The marketing of the game was very different to the finish game. The terminate game is a shallow screenshot generator, and in some means it reminded me of Spore.
“I figured that if we want Steam store pages for games to kickoff falling in-line and stop misleading consumers, then it would take consumers to point these bug out to the ASA, rather than all sit around on Reddit complaining to each other but bold that it’ll all get sorted by itself eventually.”
AzzerUK said he hopes that his complaint could spark Valve and other companies in control of video game storefronts “to start forcing publishers that use its platforms to evidence realistic, actual, genuine, non-pre-rendered or scripted gameplay trailers and footage, and screenshots actually taken in-game from existent game lawmaking that is going to be what the consumer purchases”.
AzzerUK’southward actions were met with a mixed response on Reddit, with some expressing anger, others concern that the ASA investigation could concord upwardly Howdy Games from improving No Man’southward Heaven with updates. Some wondered why someone would go to the trouble of complaining about video game screenshots and videos in the get-go place.
“I feel most people on the Reddit thread wanted to encounter How-do-you-do Games ‘punished’ direct though, rather than share my more generalised view that the game’s marketing needs to be brought down to world a bit more,” AzzerUK added.
Players discovered No Human being’s Heaven’s distinct lack of multiplayer, despite Murray’southward comments in interviews that the game would feature a mechanic in which two-players could see each other – yet unlikely it is that they would meet.
In August I reported on disgruntled No Man’due south Sky players who tried – and failed – to get a refund from Sony.
Sony’due south stringent refund policy is in stark contrast to that of Valve, which sells the PC version of No Man’s Sky on Steam. Steam gives players a no questions asked refund if the asking is made within xiv days of buy, and the title has been played for less than ii hours.
Interestingly, there’s a note on No Man’south Sky’s Steam store folio that stresses that the standard Steam refund policy applies to the game. “There are no special exemptions available,” it reads.
At Tokyo Game Show this calendar month, Shuhei Yoshida, the president of Sony’s Worldwide Studios, told Eurogamer he understood why some fans were disquisitional of No Homo’s Sky – and blamed Hello Games’ pre-release PR strategy for edifice up unrealistic expectations.
Sony told Eurogamer that Hullo Games was the developer of the game and the publisher of the PlayStation 4 digital and PC versions. Simply Sony was the publisher and distributor of the Blu-ray disc version of the game.
In declining refunds, Sony has told No Man’due south Sky players that the game changed over the course of development, to expect patches to address glitches, and said the game volition continue to evolve and benefit from new features over the coming months.
Eurogamer has contacted Hello Games, Valve and Sony for comment.