The Advertising Standards Authority (Europe based) has launched an investigation into No Man's Sky. Eurogamer says the board will be examining as to whether the game used false advertising in their marketing of the game. If the game is found to be guilty, they can have their paid ads removed from search engines and other services.
The main focus revolves around the Steam page for No Man's Sky, which many players are alleging contains assets and screenshots of things not present in the game. These include...
- Large scale space battles
- Advanced animal behavior
- Better graphics than game currently offers
Now anyone can complain to the ASA and just because they launch an investigation does not mean Hello Games will be found guilty. In fact, I think this case will show gamers just how much companies can get away with in the advertising of their games.
In the best case scenario, Hello Games will be forced to remove screenshots and tweak the game's description to something more reflective of the game's playable state. No one is going to serve jail time, and refunds won't be given out en masse.
That said, I think an example needs to be made. No Man's Sky should serve as an example to developers what happens when you lie to your user base about what your project is. There's a fine line between "marketing" and outright lying, and that line was certainly crossed in the representation that No Man's Sky was different than any other Space Sim on the market.
I would love to hear what Sean Murray thinks of this...unfortunately, he hasn't released a statement since mid-August when he said they would be patching and improving the game. No Man's Sky players...how many patches have you gotten for the game?