UK Advertising Watchdog Says No Man's Sky Ads Weren't Misleading

After receiving 23 complaints about the No Man's Sky Steam page, the UK Advertising Standards Authority launched an inquiry into whether the game's screenshots and video were misleading. After their investigation, the ASA has released a statement detailing their findings at length and the determination that Hello Games did not engage in any misleading behavior in their ad campaign.

The ASA's primary argument against the complaints leveled at Hello Games is the procedural generation used in No Man's Sky. The screenshots and video that showed advanced animal behavior, different ship-flying behavior and large-scale combat were a key target of complaints. However, Hello Games response to the ASA was that those events could occur in No Man's Sky, but that they were rare purposefully.

The ASA stated, "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." This basically means that the ASA sees Hello Games as being off the hook for any complaints against certain events not happening in-game since it's supposedly all random anyway.

The ASA's findings went into more detail about allegations that graphics were misrepresentative of the final product with the statement that graphical fidelity was dependent on a user's PC. They, however, did not take into account the performance issues experienced by PC gamers at the game's launch that may have forced them to play at a lower graphics setting than their PC was capable of handling.

The ASA's full response to complaints against Hello Games' No Man's Sky goes into more detail about how the ASA came to the conclusion that Hello Games wasn't culpable for false advertising. However, it should be noted that Hello Games was the primary provider of footage and other evidence that was used in this determination. One of the original complainants, Redditor AzzerUK has stated that he will be forwarding concerns over the outcome of the ASA's investigation to Sir Hayden Phillips who is the independent reviewer of ASA Adjudications.

Coincidentally coinciding with the release of the ASA's findings, Hello Games has broken its silence with the release of a new update for No Man's Sky. The Foundation update is supposed to be the first in a series of patches that will add content that will help fulfill the promise of the original vision of No Man's Sky. However, it may be too little too late, despite the ASA's decision many fans have expressed outrage at their experience with the game and Hello Games' reaction to negative press.

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