No Man’s Sky is probably the most controversial game in recent history. Besides receiving mixed reviews, a number of players have cried foul. They say the game failed to live up to what it promised to be in pre-release promotional materials. But now it’s gone past a lot of screaming around the internet into a full-blown investigation from a British organization.
According to Polygon, the Advertising Standards Authority confirmed they’ve received several complaints and that they’ve initiated an investigation. Most of the hubub, at least as far as this investigation goes, is about the game’s store page on Steam. Players contend the page makes a lot of promises that are far beyond what the actual game turned out to be.
After looking at the screens and videos on the Steam page (I played the game on PlayStation 4) it seems that they’re not so much misleading as simply portraying the best possible thing you can see inside the game. Granted, with procedurally generated planets, the likelihood of seeing planets like those is very small. Most of the planets I visited in my time with the game were sparsely populated and just not all that interesting. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to see a planet like that in the game.
It may just be because I’m a game journalist and encounter this sort of thing everyday, but the description of the game, while lofty, isn’t outside the norm of promotional copy you would see for any other game. They all stretch the truth a little bit. In my opinion, No Man’s Sky is certainly not what everyone expected it to be, but whether or not that’s false advertising is another thing.