The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled today that No Man’s Sky’s controversial Steam page didn’t mislead consumers and isn’t in breach of any advertising rules.
No Man’s Sky’s Steam store page had generated 23 complaints to the ASA, but this ruling means that the screenshots, videos and text contained on the page can stay, at least in ASA’s eyes. Steam recently changed its policy on Steam screenshots for the Discovery 2.0 update, so the page may still need to change in regards to this
While the ASA looked mostly at the Steam store page for Hello Games’ space-based explore-em-up, the decision is binding to the PlayStation Store page for the title, too. ASA contactedboth Valve and Hello Games as part of the investigation, although the defence was mounted entirely by Hello Games as Valve does not maintain individual store pages.
Complaints to the ASA centred on missing features that didn’t appear in the game like the lack of a mentioned factions system, but also claim that videos and screenshots misrepresented the graphical quality of the game and showed advanced AI that didn’t end up in the finished game.
The ASA however have ruled that all is well: "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."
The notes for ASA’s investigation are long, but wonderfully highlighted by Eurogamer, if you want to head there and check it out.