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The controversial launch of Hello Games’ No Man’s Sky has left many wondering what happened during the development of the Sony-backed indie game. The game was in many ways completely different from what the trailers showed, and features that were promised did not make it into the retail version of the game. While the expectations were heightened by players hyping each other up, there’s more than enough evidence showing that Hello Games did not end up delivering the product that they promised.

Because of this, several players filed a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority (confirmed by Eurogamer), an independent UK-based regulator that acts as a sort of watchdog against false or misleading advertising. These complaints prompted the ASA to start an investigation into Hello Games’ promotional campaign for No Man’s Sky.

One of the complainants posted an update they had received from the ASA on the game’s Reddit and shines a light on what exactly the ASA is investigating. What follows is a quote from the Reddit post:

In the ASA response, they say that both Hello Games and Valve have a joint responsibility, and so both organisations have now been contacted by the ASA and have been told to respond to the following issues which the ASA picked out as the primary issues (compiled from a number of complainants that contacted the ASA).

The Redditor also mentions that he doesn’t want to “punish” Hello Games for No Man’s Sky, noting that he wants them taken to task over their promotional campaign, saying that they feel that the “game’s marketing needs to be brought down to earth a bit more”.

The list of received complaints deals mostly with how the game is advertised on the Steam Store. Currently, the Steam Store page features videos showing off a variety of features that are not available in the released version of the game including a different UI, the way your ship moves and handles, animal behavior that didn’t make it into the released product and the absence of large space battles,amongst others.

Screw space, I'm just gonna hang out on the dinosaur planet and do some Jurassic Park stuff.

This isn’t even close to what the game turned out to be.

Screenshots showing off enormous animals that can’t be found in the released version are also mentioned on the list, as are some buildings and structures that are conspicuously absent from the game. The graphical fidelity of the retail release is also completely different in the released game.

While the ASA is focusing on the Steam Store page above all else, they did mention that they “will ensure the advertisers are made aware of any points relating to other marketing material under their control (such as the Hello Games YouTube channel and website)”. The ASA also said that “the outcomes of ASA investigations are cross-applicable to other marketing making the same claims, so any decision reached in relation to the Steam page would apply to other advertising for No Man’s Sky where the same (or materially similar) claims appear”. This could end up setting a precedent for how companies are allowed to advertise their games on online storefronts, which would ultimately make gaming better for the consumer.

Because we’re still at the start of the investigation there’s bound to be more information coming out of it before long. We’ve reached out to the ASA, Hello Games, Valve and Sony. To be continued!

What do you think of this news? Let us know in the comment section below!

More About This Game

Chris Anderson

Assoc. News Editor

I've been playing games since I was just barely able to walk, and I never really stopped playing them. When I'm not fulfilling my duties as senior staff writer and tech reviewer, I'm either working on music, producing one of two podcasts or doing freelance work.

  • DrearierSpider

    Hopefully this pushes more developers to do what Fallout 4 did: show the game a couple months before release, not years.

  • Aiat

    Eh, they just have to remove the bullshots and the video, make new ones and they are golden. They are millionaires on a huge scam, why would they give a shit?

  • hurin

    Ubisoft have been doing the same thing for years, releasing PC versions that looked worse than their E3 demos. No Man’s Buy is worse because it is not just a graphical downgrade, they have released videos that give the impression of being in-game footage, when in reality they were entirely scripted.

  • TheCybercoco

    Not the best written “news” article written by Techraptor…

  • AD1980

    I don’t understand Steam’s liability beyond refunding mislead consumers. But it’s not like Steam was even in a position to know what the game contained. Seems like that would set up a terrible precedent. Anyone care to explain?

  • AD1980

    So what do they need to do? Does Valve need to play every game before it’s listed to verify that all the advertised content is contained? How long do you think it would take to fully validate a massive game like No Man’s Sky?
    Let’s say I go to Best Buy and pick up a TV that claims it’s 4k when it’s not. Obviously the manufacturer of the TV should be held liable. And of course Best Buy should, and would, provide a refund. What further responsibility would Best Buy have?

  • Robert Grosso

    Realistically, no changes I would wager.

  • Megid

    What ASA means is that Valve is responsible for still using the marketing Hello provided after knowing things went south. It’s not the product that’s at fault here but the marketing material, as far as ASA does and knows. And if ASA rules the advertise as misleading, all it’ll ask for is to Steam to remove it. If it don’t, then comes a harsher punishment.

  • Good hopefully Sony get most of the punishment. A lesson must be learned.

  • Sony and Valve are in trouble now.

  • AD1980

    That makes more sense. I can get on board with that!

  • jaygerbomb

    Well, look at the entitled Advertising Standards Authority, acting like Hello Games owes them something.

  • FlamingoJet

    We did it, Reddit!

  • Toastrider

    And if you think a court’s gonna set that kind of precedent, I have a bridge to sell you with a nice view of Brooklyn. Hell, I bet you could argue this is no different from the rulings regarding culpability of ISPs regarding illegal content passing through or hosted on their systems.

    I sympathize, but it’s a bad idea.

  • Gargie

    Sony will just misdirect and say its ALLLLLLLL HG’s fault and their sheep will agree,just like how bethesda got blamed for not allowing FO4 mods on the PS4 rather then Sony.

  • Sadly that will happen.


    Why do hipster faggots love this game so much?