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Published on October 4th, 2016

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No Man’s Sky

Due in no small part to pre-release gameplay videos such as those on the game’s popular Steam store page, expectations for the PlayStation 4 science-fiction adventure game No Man’s Sky were, in a word, sky-high. The graphics and features of the game depicted in these demos were like the distant planets pictured onscreen: otherworldly.

But not long after the game’s release in August, all the ballyhoo surrounding its launch came crashing down to earth. Thousands of gamers grumbled that actual gameplay is nothing like what Steam, an online gaming platform, and Hello Games, the game’s developer, presented to them in the months leading up to the release.

Prompted by the complaint of Reddit user AzzerUK, the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is now investigating whether this constitutes false or deceptive advertising. ASA also signaled that while AzzerUK’s complaint focused on promotional materials on the game’s Steam store page, the findings of its investigation will apply to additional marketing. According to correspondence cited by the Reddit user, the ASA said:

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.

The ASA has requested information from both Hello Games and Valve, the developer of Steam, regarding various features of No Man’s Sky including user interface design, ship flying behavior, the size and behavior of animals, speed of galaxy warp/loading time, and the overall quality of the game’s graphics, according to AzzerUK.

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