Friday, September 30, 2016

"No Man's Sky" Game Under Investigation By UK For Deceptive Advertising

By Bixyl Shuftan

Hello Games, the people behind "No Man's Sky," is in trouble. Most computer and console owners have been disappointed by games they bought that they feel didn't live up to the anticipation. But in the case of this particular game, so many have expressed disappointment that it's being investigated by an advertising regulation agency.

"No Man's Sky" by Hello Games was one of the most anticipated computer games of the summer, promising an unbelievable huge universe to explore, "epic space battles," challenging planetary survival conditions, and more.

That the game was boasting 18 quintillion planets (that's an "18" with eighteen zeroes after it, compared to a million which has six) did get some wondering if perhaps the makers were exaggerating things a little. But with the hype and videos having wetted the appetites of gamers, when it was finally released, thousands of computer and console owners bought the game. At one point, "Steam" recorded over 200 thousand people playing the game on their PCs at once, and was the top selling Playstation 4 game in August.

To make a long story short, most everyone found the game a disappointment. There were numerous bugs in the initial release, as well as advertised features that simply weren't there, "There are things missing that I didn't even know were missing." One person who did like the game admitted, "It took me about 12 hours to realize that No Man’s Sky is basically an intergalactic mining simulator. ... there isn't much to do ... other than to gaze at the humbling wonders of the universe, and ponder your absolute insignificance in the cosmic scale of things." Even the President of Sony, Shuhei Yoshida, which distributed the game for Playstation, felt Hello Games had promised more than it delivered.

Word got around that the game was underwhelming, and people either demanded and got refunds or simply quit playing. By September 21, Steam was detecting that the number of people playing at once had dropped to under a thousand, less than half a percent of it's peak in just a few weeks.

If bad publicity wasn't enough for Hello Games to worry about, the complaints got the attention of the Advertising Standards Authority in the United Kingdom, an "independent regulator of advertising across all media." While the ASA can't enforce regulations and laws, "it does have the power to have advertisements which breach its code of advertising practice removed," with the threat of sanctions if such ads are not taken down.

For Hello Games however, the damage may already be done. As the maker of such a high profile flop, it may find further games difficult to market. For consumers, it may mean better games in the future as this may serve as a cautionary tale for developers to not make claims that their products can't live up to.

Sources: Wikipedia, Forbes,, Arcade Rage, PC Gamer

Bixyl Shuftan

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