Well it seems the space chickens have come home to roost. After a formal complaint by Redditor AzzerUK, the United Kingdom's Advertising Standards Authority is taking a long hard look at Hello Games and their ad campaign for No Man's Sky. AzzerUK feels that Hello Games presented false advertising for No Man's Sky and wants the ASA to ascertain whether customers were deliberately lied to or not.
I will admit I've had a bit of a tart tongue regarding Hello Games and No Man's Sky. That said, no one can deny that the game we were sold and the game we got had some pretty glaring disparities. Features up to and including fully simulated solar systems, giant alien creatures that realistically interacted with their environments, functioning interstellar portals and especially multiplayer were promised all the way up to a couple months before the game shipped. Not only that, but the trailers still being used to advertise the game on Steam show features that are nowhere to be found in the actual game.
It doesn't help that Hello Games has been pretty quiet on social media for over a month now. Ostensibly they've been scrambling to push out bugfixes as the game was pretty much broken on PS4 and PC at launch. The team's Twitter has put out some patch notes here and there, but director Sean Murray's silence about the state of the game and any vague future content is not improving the studio's checkered reputation.
If the ASA finds that Hello Games inaccurately advertised the game, they could mandate that any offending ads could be pulled. Regardless of anyone's personal feelings or disappointment with No Man's Sky, this kind of inaccurate developer-generated hype for a product is a disservice to customers and must have consequences. It happened to Gearbox and Aliens: Colonial Marines, it happened to Rocksteady and Batman Arkham Knight. Hello Games and No Man's Sky should be no exception.