Home Gaming No Man’s Sky under investigation for false advertising in the UK

No Man’s Sky under investigation for false advertising in the UK

2 min read

No Man's Sky investigated for false advertising 2

No Man’s Sky will inevitably go down in videogame history as a lesson to game developers, consumers and media alike. The game’s whirlwind of pre-release hype enveloped it in a monster that couldn’t be stopped, with Hello Games unable to deliver on many of the features that sold consumers in the first place. There’s a discussion around who is at fault here, but the fact of the matter is that No Man’s Sky was sold with trailers and screenshots that simply aren’t from the game.

And now, they’re being investigated for it.

The Advertising Standards Authority, or ASA, has confirmed to Eurogamer that they’ve launched an investigation into No Man’s Sky and its marketing, after receiving numerous complaints from customers. The investigation seems squarely focused on Steam, where No Man’s Sky is still being sold with assets that clearly aren’t representative of the final game (just like that header image). The aim of the ASA is to thoroughly determine if that is true, after which they can take action.

But this isn’t the type of massive class action lawsuit stuff that you might be expecting. If found guilty, the extent of the damage Hello Games will face is likely a legal document forcing them to take down old screenshots and trailers (across all storefronts), replacing them with more representative materials for the game being sold. According to one of the complainants on Reddit, that’s all he really wanted when lodging the call to the ASA.

AzzerUK was one of the people who contacted the ASA, and is quite pleased that they’re looking into the matter. AzzerUK isn’t looking for a refund (and hasn’t even applied for one), and generally does not think No Man’s Sky is a horrible game. He does, however, feel the game is being sold on false promises with its current store marketing, and hopes that the ASA will help prevent future customers from being burned.

“I figured that if we want Steam store pages for games to start falling in-line and stop misleading consumers, then it would take consumers to point these problems out to the ASA, rather than all sit around on Reddit complaining to each other but assuming that it’ll all get sorted by itself eventually.”

Of course, some would like to see things go further. Hello Games certainly have kicked a hornets’ nest since launch, and players from around the world have sought full reimbursement for their purchase and heavy penalties against the independent developer. Hello Games is definitely not innocent, but I think the issue surrounding that is also a little less black and white. The ASA isn’t there to punish Hello Games, but if it means more honest advertising, I’m all for it.

Last Updated: September 29, 2016


  1. DragonSpirit009

    September 29, 2016 at 11:10

    Damn… But I get why people are upset. But I never new it would go this far!


  2. Allykhat

    September 29, 2016 at 11:10

    Doesnt help that they have done literally zero to put any of the glaring issues at ease by engaging with the community


  3. BakedBagel

    September 29, 2016 at 11:11

  4. Deceased

    September 29, 2016 at 11:12

    #wedontneednowaterletthemotherfuckerburn !!!


  5. Thami Afurika-Jin HD

    September 29, 2016 at 11:15

    • Allykhat

      September 29, 2016 at 11:24

      More like procedurally generated hipsters.


      • Thami Afurika-Jin HD

        September 29, 2016 at 11:59

        ???? ????


  6. Ottokie

    September 29, 2016 at 11:15

    Procedurally Generated Disappointment


  7. Original Heretic

    September 29, 2016 at 11:23

    No Man’s Despair. No Man’s Idiocy. No Man’s Hype.

    Perhaps they should have hired more women?


  8. Pieter Kruger

    September 29, 2016 at 11:25

    Whahahaha @Sony that went dead silent about one of their “First Party” exclusives! Maybe some is the lawsuit action should come their way too? They’ll just throw Hello Games under the bus again!


  9. Ottokie

    September 29, 2016 at 11:33

    Welcome back @hammersteyn:disqus

    Thanks for the upvotes


  10. Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

    September 29, 2016 at 11:34

    Oh yeah, this game. Should probably finish it someday, but not this year


    • Darren Peach

      September 29, 2016 at 11:41

      Where on earth have you been ?


      • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

        September 29, 2016 at 11:42

        Vacation, Apparently it’s something people get to take every year O_o


        • Darren Peach

          September 29, 2016 at 11:45

          Welcome back.


          • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

            September 29, 2016 at 12:02


  11. ChaosPixy

    September 29, 2016 at 11:58

    Has anyone considered that perhaps Sony Interactive Entertainment, the people who promoted and published the game might be the wrong doers here?


  12. WitWolfy

    September 29, 2016 at 12:18

    Well Sean’s reputation is beyond recovery at this point, this dude is never gonna be able to redeem himself. I remember seeing NMS PS4 advertising EVERYWHERE on FB. Now, its as if they dont even wanna be affiliated with the game.


  13. oVg

    September 29, 2016 at 12:21

    Darn right this game should be investigated. I was under the impression that it was an on-line only game with multiplayer where you are forced to upload your discoveries to the servers. Then after a week of its release the fanboys were screaming blue murder. It was actually an offline single player game.


    I looked at the latest 15 minute E3 gameplay video because I had no clue what this game was about and thought… mmmm looks unique. So I jumped in.

    180+ hours and 3 galaxies later Im still playing. Everything in that E3 demo is in the game. Space Battles in a Battlestar Galactica Starship WIN, resource gathering AKA Elfroot or Skyrim Iron Ignots WIN, upgrading equipment slots AKA Last of Us WIN, Farming Eridium AKA Farming Sim 2016 R700 WIN,

    Cheesy existential 70s Sci Fi Narrative WIN Still better story than Destiny 😛

    My GOTY Is Blood and Wine followed by this. Almost at the 200hour mark. The last time I spent 200 hours in a game was MGS V.

    Vauxhall Graphics FTW. Well done Hello Games. You deserve all the money that was thrown at you even if you did deceive the dummies. It will teach them a lesson not to buy into hype but we all know they will never learn. I remember Watch Dogs was also investigated. THE HATE WAS STRONG. Still Gamers have already Pre-Ordered Watch Dogs 2. lol


    • BakedBagel

      September 29, 2016 at 13:56

      Watch Dogs was investigated because at E3 they used a very specific texture setting that was locked on release.

      NMS failed. The release failed.
      Some things are still broken.
      Hello Games had very little to say to their player base on release.

      For the most part its very much an after – the – fact complaint.

      Also, Hello Games knew what fans were saying and hoping for. They knew that some fans thought it was a online multiplayer game, yet they kept quiet about it, offering almost nothing to keep the “haters” at bay.

      “You deserve all the money that was thrown at you even if you did deceive the dummies.”

      Way to go, deceiving people, you deserve all the money


      • oVg

        September 29, 2016 at 15:56

        After release, when people were going nuts about no multiplayer I checked out the demo. I though to myself, hold on… the galaxy in the game is 16x bigger than the milky way and its procedurally generated. How in the world (excuse the pun) could you even think of implementing multiplayer in a game like that let alone do that in 1.5 gigs of data. The other 3 gigs was audio. Also, those people who scrutinise the source code, was there any code for a 3rd person in order to even see the other player. My mind boggles.

        Great game, but never leave the marketing to a data coder from a 12 man team. They should have done waht Dark Souls did. No marketing. Let word of mouth snowball. Or release it cheap like Minecraft and build on it. But after charging full retail for The Order 1886 I can see why SONY did it.

        It still amazes me that the game is the same size as the Mass Effect 3 ending. 😛


        • BakedBagel

          September 30, 2016 at 08:00

          Look ive played it, and i actually like it. Its not what i was expecting, but i do enjoy playing it, their concept is stellar.

          People always rage when a game releases that doesnt live up to their personal standards. Oh well. 😀


    • Fox1 - Retro

      September 29, 2016 at 14:41

      Vauxhall graphics = Opel graphics.

      The biggest gripe is this game shouldn’t have been a full price title for what you just described.


  14. HairyEwok

    September 29, 2016 at 16:51



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