England's Advertising Standards Authority has launched an investigation into No Man's Sky for misleading advertising.

The investigation centres on No Man's Sky's marketing material - specifically, the assets and descriptions on its Steam store page.

It appears to have been instigated thanks to a formal complaint from Reddit user AzzerUK, who claimed to "feel personally misled" by the game's pre-release marketing, saying "the marketing of the game was very different to the end game."

According to AzzerUK, the elements under investigation by the ASA include:

Videos:
User interface design
Ship flying behaviour (in formation; with a ‘wingman’; flying close to the ground)
Behaviour of animals (in herds; destroying scenery; in water; reacting to surroundings)
Large-scale space combat
Structures and buildings as pictured
Flowing water
Speed of galaxy warp/loading time
Aiming systems

Screenshots:
Size of creatures
Behaviour of ships and sentinels
Structures and buildings as pictured

Store Page in general:
Quality of graphics
References to: lack of loading screens, trade convoys between stars, factions vying over territory

Using "idealised" assets for marketing in games is nothing new; numerous developers utilise Photoshopped screenshots, scripted videos, or pre-renders to advertise their wares.

The difference with No Man's Sky appears to lie in the sheer anticipatory fervour created by the marketing material, as well as misleading implications or outright statements as to the shipped game's feature set.

The ASA can demand advertising material be taken down; if the subject does not comply, it can impose a range of sanctions, including having search-engine ads disabled.

AzzerUK's stated goal is to have storefronts "start forcing publishers that use its platforms to show realistic, actual, genuine, non-pre-rendered or scripted gameplay trailers and footage, and screenshots actually taken in-game from real game code that is going to be what the consumer purchases."

Steam owner Valve and No Man's Sky developer Hello Games have both been contacted by the ASA for a response.