Weeks after the release, the No Man’s Sky saga still continues. Going beyond the promises made, and the hype created, the advertisements of game is being regulated for “the content of advertisements, sales promotions and direct marketing in the UK [by investigating] complaints made about ads, sales promotions or direct marketing”—is now investigating the game’s seemingly misleading promotional material.”
Frustrated from the misleading images from the game trailers, screenshots and the typical general information used in the advertisement, a Reddit user AzzerUK has formally launched a complaint to ASA, to do an investigation on the advertisements.
He complained that the advertisement is misleading and misrepresenting the actual features of the game.
I can’t speak for other countries, but in the UK [there] are regulations about providing advertising material that could mislead a consumer in some way—[for example] displaying things that do not, in fact, exist.
The ASA say they have received a number of complaints, and so the points below are not necessarily all related to things I personally took issue with but are the issues they have picked out at the most clear-cut problems from amongst all complaints. In the ASA response, they say that both Hello Games and Valve have a joint responsibility, and so both organisations have now been contacted by the ASA and have been told to respond to the following issues which the ASA picked out as the primary issues (compiled from a number of complainants that contacted the ASA).
Even though the ASA does not have the formal authority to regulate, or interpret the concerning laws, but it holds the authority to remove the misleading advertisements from public, which of course restricts the ad to be used again.
According to the reports so far, the process of ASA regulation is now in process, if there is anything the ASA finds out to be misleading according to the codes of conduct, Valve, and Hello Games will be required to respond, and then the sanctions could then follow.
A section of the ASA’s reply to AzzerUK reads as follows:
We will ensure the advertisers are made aware of any points relating to other marketing material under their control (such as the Hello Games YouTube channel and website).
The outcomes of ASA investigations are cross-applicable to other marketing making the same claims, so any decision reached in relation to the Steam page would apply to other advertising for No Man’s Sky where the same (or materially similar) claims appear.