It’s safe to say that, for a lot of gamers, No Man’s Sky didn’t live up to expectations. Not only did its creatures underwhelm from the Jurassic Park-like experience depicted in trailers, but very real features mentioned on the game’s Steam page and in interviews leading up to release just aren’t there. Now, that has led to the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority opening an investigation.
A reddit user who contacted the ASA with their own complaints says they’ve received a response from the organization indicating they’ve received multiple similar complaints. The ASA apparently said that both developer Hello Games and Steam operator Valve are responsible for the advertising materials, and that they’re looking into this laundry list of issues compiled from players who contacted them (via reddit user AzzrUK):
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, unfortunately for players who were unable to get refunds, as many have tried to do, the most that will come of the ASA investigation will be forcing the materials to be removed from the Steam store page. They won’t be able to get anyone’s money back or go back in time to prevent expectations for the game to reach such a fever pitch. It wound up being an impressive tech demo for what can be done with procedural generation, but in terms of gameplay, it really didn’t live up to what players were looking for.
What’s harder to discern is the claims made about the huge alien creatures, because the game’s procedurally-generated universe is just so huge that there’s a solid chance that even if such things existed, many players would just never encounter them. In fact, that’s the point of a procedurally generated game—that everyone’s experience is different and unpredictable, which is tough for advertising to deal with. In the end, they should’ve been a bit more careful about doing so much cherry-picking if they weren’t planning to build in a way to ensure that players actually got to experience what they saw in advertising.
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