Hello Games and No Man's Sky have been cleared of allegations for misleading consumers with advertisements by the Advertising Standards Authority.
"We investigated the ad under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 and 3.3 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation) and 3.11 (Exaggeration), but did not find it in breach."
Back in September, it was revealed that the UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) would be holding an investigation on Hello Games and their advertisement materials for No Man's Sky. The investigation came after a number of complaints were lodged against the game.
No Man's Sky released in August for the PlayStation 4 and PC. After release, there were claims from fans of false advertisement perpetuated by the game's creator Sean Murray during interviews, as well as some complaints against the videos used on the Steam Store page for the game. False advertisement wasn't the only complaint, there were also bugs that caused quite a few players either refunding the game or simply quit playing.
According to the ASA, the video advertisements for No Man's Sky were not misleading because the game is procedurally generated and that each player would have a different experience.
"The summary description of the game made clear that it was procedurally generated, that the game universe was essentially infinite, and that the core premise was exploration. As such, we considered consumers would understand the images and videos to be representative of the type of content they would encounter during gameplay, but would not generally expect to see those specific creatures, landscapes, battles and structures. We therefore considered whether the game and footage provided by Hello Games contained gameplay material of a sufficiently similar type to that depicted in the ad."
When it came to bodies of water, large-scale space battles, ship flight and animals, the ASA found that nothing was misleading and that a number of inconsistencies players reported could be due to procedural generation. Interactions with the three alien factions, warping, and graphics the ASA also believed that nothing in the game's description or gameplay "differed materially from the relevant gameplay features."
The ASA did not, however, review the game's alleged multiplayer feature that was promised during interviews by creator Sean Murray – a feature that was not found in the game at all. Reference to the multiplayer mode was not a part of the Steam page, which was reviewed, but instead during discussions in journalists.
It's clear that Murray overpromised the game during interviews, a sentiment that Sony's President echoed. While that may be the case, the actual game advertisements were not misleading enough to be considered a breach in any advertisement code.