Home / Software & Gaming / ASA decides No Man’s Sky marketing did not mislead customers

ASA decides No Man’s Sky marketing did not mislead customers

Back in September, we learned that the Advertising Standards Authority here in the UK was investigating No Man’s Sky after several complaints were made about the game’s marketing and its Steam page specifically. At the time, it was argued that screenshots did not represent the final game and nor did the pre-release trailers. However, after hearing Hello Games’ defence, the ASA has ruled that the advertising behind No Man’s Sky did not mislead customers.

Hello Games’ defence relied on the fact that No Man’s Sky is a procedurally generated game, which means players should get a different experience each time they play through the game. The defence is laid out in the ASA’s ruling:

“Hello Games said that, as each user’s experience would be very different, it would be difficult to recreate the exact scenes from the ad. However, they believed it was fairly straightforward to locate content of the type shown in the ad and to demonstrate that such content was commonly experienced by all users who played NMS for an average period of time. They stated that all material features from the ad that had been challenged by complainants appeared in the NMS universe in abundance.”

ss_f11a89408d7ff8f173890c252bfc111ce68d6afd-1920x1080

Aside from that, Hello Games argued that the trailers for the game featured lower graphical settings than capable on the PC and that each trailer was made using real gameplay footage: “Hello Games stated that the videos in the ad were produced using a gaming PC of average specification (based on the standard shown in Steam’s survey of typical user hardware), above the minimum specification. They said the quality of the graphics shown in the ad was inferior to the graphics the game was capable of exhibiting and was representative of the quality of the graphics of the NMS experienced by an average player. The videos in the ad were recordings of gameplay from the game, and the static images were in-game screenshots.”

“Hello Games stated that the videos in the ad were produced using a gaming PC of average specification (based on the standard shown in Steam’s survey of typical user hardware), above the minimum specification. They said the quality of the graphics shown in the ad was inferior to the graphics the game was capable of exhibiting and was representative of the quality of the graphics of the NMS experienced by an average player. The videos in the ad were recordings of gameplay from the game, and the static images were in-game screenshots.”

As for Steam’s role in this, Valve argued that they merely provide a service to developers and are not responsible for the content of their individual Steam Stores. The ASA’s decision to not uphold the complaints levied at No Man’s Sky came down to the fact that the game’s text description makes it clear that NMS is a procedurally generated experience:

“The ad contained several screenshots and two different video trailers for the game, as well as a text description. We understood that, as NMS was procedurally generated, player experiences would vary according to what material was generated in their play-through. 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.”

KitGuru Says: While I do agree that some of the pre-release marketing behind No Man’s Sky was a bit sketchy, this investigation focussed primarily on the game’s Steam page itself. Whether or not you agree with the ruling, it looks like the ASA has deemed the game’s Steam page as an accurate representation of the final product. Do you guys think No Man’s Sky’s Steam page was misleading at all? Do you believe that the trailers shown feature genuine in-game footage?

Become a Patron!

Check Also

Half-Life remake ‘Black Mesa’ enters complete beta with all content available

This has been an exciting year for Half-Life fans, not just because of Valve’s return …