According to a Reddit user by the name of AzzerUK and confirmed by our colleagues at Eurogamer, Hello Games have run afoul of the British Advertising Standards Agency regarding the Steam store page for No Man’s Sky. In case you can’t guess, the allegation is that Hello mislead consumers, and are continuing to do so, by claiming things that are not true. An allegation which our advertising watchdog have deemed valid enough to investigate. Thus leading to them contacting Hello Games directly to request they either convincingly defend of remove the following points:
User interface design
Ship flying behaviour (in formation; with a ‘wingman’; flying close to the ground)
Behaviour of animals (in herds; destroying scenery; in water; reacting to surroundings)
Large-scale space combat
Structures and buildings as pictured
Speed of galaxy warp/loading time
Size of creatures (9)
Behaviour of ships and sentinels (4, 5 and 8)
Structures and buildings as pictured (3)
Store Page in general:
Quality of graphics
References to: lack of loading screens, trade convoys between stars, factions vying over territory
However, as this is advertising done via the Steam service, the ASA have also contacted Valve to respond under the same criteria. Meaning that, even should Hello stay resolute in their insistence that they have done no wrong, but are ruled to be in breach of British trading standards, Valve would still be required to amend it themselves or remove the game from sale completely.
At this stage, there is no concrete move to apply these rules universally, such as to YouTube and the gaming media at large. However, the ASA has said that any decision made regarding the Steam store page would be made known to such sources as well, and that whatever the ultimate outcome may be, their decision should be considered binding across the board.
Having been resident in the UK a not insignificant amount of time (my entire life) I can assure any and all that our advertising standards are rather strict, and are not pursued halfheartedly when there is a breach. So, at the very least, we can be assured that No Man’s Shy‘s days of making claims that are, ahem, “misleading” are very soon coming to an end. But what does everyone else think about this? Too much, or are they get ting their just deserts? Feel free to sound off below.