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Gaming: No Man’s Sky under investigation for false advertising

Photo courtesy of Hello Games

Photo courtesy of Hello Games

By Sean Gannon

Nearly two months after its release, controversial game No Man’s Sky has come under fire from the Advertising Standards Authority.

The UK regulator has begun a formal inquiry into the game and its developer, Hello Games, over claims of false advertising.

The ASA confirmed it had “received complaints and is investigating and taking the matter seriously” but said it not comment further as the investigation was ongoing.

The investigation appears to be centred on the game’s page on Steam, which apparently references several features not present within the final product.

These features include missing gameplay elements and systems, as well as art assets and technical aspects more advanced than those found in the released version.

This all follows what has been a turbulent two months for Hello Games.

After a delayed launch, No Man’s Sky received a tepid response from critics. Since then it has been polarising gamers, with many angry and disappointed consumers accusing the studio head, Sean Murray, of lying about the game’s content.

The Guildford game developer has not yet responded to requests from Yorkshire Voice to comment.

The studio has been almost completely silent since No Man’s Sky’s release, with communication limited to brief sporadic updates.

The only insight into the inner workings of Hello Games has come from Paul Weir, No Man’s Sky’s sound director, who recently responded to fan queries on Twitter. He answered in brief, vague statements, claiming that, “Sean [Murray] is fine and we’re all busy on the next patch”.

When asked why the studio had been so quiet since No Man’s Sky’s release, Weir simply said: “It’s entirely up to Hello or Sean as to when they want to talk publicly.”

There is currently no word on how long the No Man’s Sky investigation will take or what the outcome will be. However, if Hello Games are found to be at fault, they could find themselves facing heavy sanctions.

An ASA spokesman said that if the investigation found fault with Hello Games, sanctions could include being forced to remove the offending advertisements, removal from web searches, and adverse publicity. They could even find themselves being referred to a more severe regulatory body, such as Trading Standards or Ofcom.

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