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Hello Games didn't falsely advertise No Man's Sky, says ad regulator

The Advertising Standards Authority has cleared Hello Games and Valve of any wrongdoing after several players complained about the way No Man's Sky was being advertised on Steam. 

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has cleared Hello Games and Valve of any wrongdoing after several players complained about the way No Man's Sky was being advertised on Steam. 

Back in September, the UK ad regulator received 23 complaints relating to No Man's Sky's Steam page. They suggested in-game content wasn't being depicted or described accurately in marketing material, prompting the ASA to launch an investigation. 

After speaking with Hello Games, who acted as the sole defendant with Valve's blessing, the ASA has ruled that all screenshots, videos, and other material displayed on Steam are an honest representation of the final product.

The ASA was satisfied with Hello Games' assertion that, as a procedurally generated exploration title, player experiences would vary, and that just because one player hasn't encountered a particular animal or structure, it doesn't mean it isn't in the game. 

"We understood that, as No Man's Sky was procedurally generated, player experiences would vary according to what material was generated in their play-through," said the ASA.

"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."

As for some of the technical complaints leveled at the developer, largely relating to warp speeds and graphical issues, the ASA agreed with Hello Games' reasoning that game performance would vary based on the hardware specs of individual PCs . 

What's more, the regulator was satisfied with the studio's decision to capture trailer footage and screens from a PC "of broadly typical specification."

Ultimately, the ASA doesn't feel Hello Games went out of its way to mislead consumers about any aspect of the game, and asserts that any changes the developer did make prior the launch -- such as tweaks to the UI and aiming system -- were purely cosmetic, and therefore, superficial. 

"We considered that the overall impression of the ad(s) was consistent with gameplay and the footage provided, both in terms of that captured by Hello Games and by third parties, and that it did not exaggerate the expected player experience of the game," wrote the ASA. 

"We therefore concluded that the ad did not breach the Code. No further action is required."

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