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Advertising Standards Rules No Man’s Sky Didn’t Mislead Consumers

The Advertising Standards Authority has been investigating complaints about No Man’s Sky’s Steam page which apparently misled customers. In total, 23 Steam users argued that the page’s screenshots didn’t accurately depict the game’s content. After a lengthy period, the Advertising Standards Authority has come to their decision and doesn’t think Hello Games intentionally misled consumers. The organisation made a lengthy statement which reads:

“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.”

According to Eurogamer, The ASA contacted Valve and Hello Games to conduct its investigation. However, Valve doesn’t work on behalf of developers for Steam pages which mean the defence had to be done completely by Hello Games.  Of course, some people aren’t happy with the ruling and claim it sets a bad precedent. Reddit user AzzerUK proclaimed:

“I feel you have gone out of your way to defend a clearly over-marketed series of videos, screenshots, and store descriptions, play down complaints on individual points, tiptoe around certain other complaints, and do not wish to take action because it could lead to you having to take action on what is, in fact, a large problem throughout games media and could lead to more work if this opened the floodgates for more people to complain about marketing throughout games advertising in general,”

“Such disappointment can lead to apathy in future,” he warned, “as in – why bother making complaints in the future if you feel like even something as in my opinion blatantly misleading as No Man’s Sky advertising is not considered misleading?”

“I’ll be raising all the points, and putting it in a clear way under the assumption that Sir Hayden Phillips perhaps might not know too much about video games (let alone No Man’s Sky), and draw clear comparisons with rulings they’ve made against misleading marketing in the past to make it clear how something in a video game trailer can be misleading to somebody that doesn’t know much about them,”

Sadly, it seems this saga isn’t over just yet and it might take some time for Hello Games to be trusted by the gaming community. Although, the most recent update is a step in the right direction.

Do you think No Man’s Sky misled customers?

John Williamson

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