Watching the emotional fallout over No Man's Sky has been both fascinating and unsettling. It's a game that's polarised opinion to a terrifying degree, either summoning pure, apoplectic rage at the merest whisper of its name, or the kind of horrifying, evangelical loyalty that makes you want to back away from the person responsible as fast as you can.
Now, however, British advertising watchdog the Advertising Standards Agency has thrown its formal, very-official-looking hat into the ring. The organisation has revealed (as confirmed by Eurogamer) that it's currently investigating complaints from consumers that No Man's Sky's advertising – specifically, that seen on the game's Steam store page – is misrepresentative of the final game.
A whole raft of complaints have (quite reasonably, it seems) been levied at No Man's Sky's Steam page, from the fact that it references features that didn't make the game's final cut (such as zero loading times and competing factions), to its use of image and video assets that, complainants argue, feature different, higher quality visuals and better creature AI than those seen in the released product.
Reddit user AzzerUK was the first to break news of the investigation, and posted a summary of the concerns that the ASA will be broaching with Steam and Hello Games, as compiled from multiple complaints:
- 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
- Flowing water
- Speed of galaxy warp/loading time
- Aiming systems
- 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
The ASA's investigation is currently ongoing but, in instances where it rules that an advert has broken its code of conduct, the organisation has the power to insist that the offending item is removed from circulation.