The American Standards Authority has finally given its verdict on No Man’s Sky‘s Steam page controversy. A lot of people complained that the game’s Steam page misled the consumers.
However, the ASA thinks that there is nothing misleading about No Man’s Sky‘s Steam page and Hello Games don’t need to remove any screen shots, videos and the texts from the page.
There were as many as 23 complaints received by the ASA, which accused that Hello Games actually painted a misleading picture of the game on its Steam page. They felt that the original game could not provide the large-scale combat, advanced animal behavior and ship-flying behavior in the actual game, even close to what was shown in the videos and screenshots leading up to its release.
The overall graphical quality of the game was also on the lower side when compared to the screenshots and videos which was shown before launch.
Both Hello Games and Valve were contacted by the ASA for this investigation and Hello Games had to do a lot of defending. Valve didn’t have anything to do in this investigation because they don’t handle individual store pages.
In their defense, Hello Games mentioned that it would not be possible for them to re-create each and every scene shown in the ad because it was a procedurally generated game and the experiences can vary from playthrough to playthrough.
They said, “It was fairly straightforward to locate content of the type shown in the ad and to demonstrate that such content was commonly experienced by all users who played No Man’s Sky for an average period of time”.
Hello Games was thus successful in defending themselves and established that No Man’s Sky is actually a procedurally generated game, and each player can have a different experience depending on the universe they are in.
The ASA said, “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,” they added.
The ASA has released a long investigation note in this ruling in which it explains each and every investigation point in detail and why it chose to clear No Man’s Sky and Hello Games of misleading its consumers.