Hello Games' No Man's Sky appears to be a rollercoaster whose breaks have failed. When it was first announced, the game had the promise to be both a market success and a fan favorite. The visuals were stunning and the gameplay looked beyond fun. With so much promise, it seemed like there no way the company could screw it up.
As if taking that as a challenge instead of confidence in the company, Hello Games began a spiral down the drain just as the game came out. The game that was released did not resemble the game that was first shown off. The visuals were stunning, but stunningly bad. The gameplay appeared to be that of an unrelated game. Unfortunately, the photos and videos shown on the game's Steam page were from the original presentation and not from the final game.
This move attracted the attention of gamers and regulators alike. People who purchased the game and then played it, resulting in widespread disappointment, responded by complaining. These complaints could be found on the game's Steam listing, social media and, more importantly, in the inbox of the Advertising Standards Authority. The organization, which is responsible for investigating false advertising in the UK, decided to look into the complaints.
While it looked like the developer was going to be held accountable for their actions, this week the ASA ended the investigation, finding the company had not falsely advertised their game.
Hello Games said that, as each user's experience would be very different, it would be difficult to recreate the exact scenes from the ad. However, they believed it was fairly straightforward to locate content of the type shown in the ad and to demonstrate that such content was commonly experienced by all users who played NMS for an average period of time.
They stated that all material features from the ad that had been challenged by complainants appeared in the NMS universe in abundance. While each player experienced different parts of the NMS universe, there was a low probability that anyone playing the game as intended would fail to encounter all these features in some form within an average play-through.
So, because the game changes as a user plays, that justified the fact that the game looked like it was modeled off of a 6-year-old's drawings, and that the game turned out to be no fun at all. While the developer will obviously not be held accountable for this particular game, it does seem guaranteed that any future product of the company, and possibly any future product from any of the individual developers, who appear to be jumping ship, will have any commercial success. You can't violate the trust of gamers and expect future successes.