It may come as no surprise to many, but No Mans Sky is in the news once again after coming under investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in the UK. It claims that Hello Games, Steam and Sean Murray falsely advertised the game to be something that it was not ever going to be. This is a huge landmark in the video game industry as No Mans Sky is only one of many games that were hyped up at E3 and other gaming shows only to be released and found to not only have a lot of bugs, but complete features missing that were often advertised as the centerpiece of the game. Caught up in this investigation is Valve’s Steam.
When contacted the ASA replied that they had received several complaints and that they had gathered enough information to investigate both Hello Game and Steam about the following:
- 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
- Flowing water
- Speed of galaxy warp/loading time
- Aiming systems
- 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
Steam does have a system in place that allows refunds with certain restrictions like 2 weeks since purchase of the game or software and less than 2 hours of gameplay. A lot of customers had gone over this time as they pre-ordered or spent more than 2 hours trying to figure out why the game wasn’t the way it was advertised. Steam did issue refunds on a case by case basis for these people. Amazon, who has no official return policy that I could find, also did the same. If this was just attempts by these two to retain a customer or to try to avoid any possible lawsuits is unclear but, it did at least show good faith.
The ASA could not provide more information or details currently as they don’t comment about ongoing investigations.