Once hailed as Steam’s most anticipated open-world survival MMO, The Day Before has now become a cautionary tale of mismanagement and broken promises. The game, which was released in early access, was met with a wave of negative reviews, highlighting its failure to deliver on its initial claims. Players quickly discovered that The Day Before was not the immersive MMO experience they were promised but rather an extraction shooter, reminiscent of Escape from Tarkov, combined with elements from The Last of Us. This misleading marketing tactic, coupled with game-breaking glitches and a lackluster game world, led to a swift decline in player interest.
Fntastic, the studio behind The Day Before, has been forced to confront the consequences of their ill-fated project. Just five days after its release, the game was delisted from the Steam platform, and the studio announced its closure. Unable to sustain itself financially, Fntastic was unable to find the necessary funds to continue operating. The developer had initially promised that all revenue generated from the game would be used to pay off debts, but this plan quickly proved inadequate. With no plans to patch the game or secure additional funding, it became clear that The Day Before was a lost cause.
Fntastic’s troubles were worsened by allegations of stolen or repurposed assets, as well as a string of misleading gameplay trailers. The studio’s decision to price the game at $40, despite its lack of content and unresolved issues, only further damaged their reputation. The accusations of scamming customers were difficult to ignore, particularly when coupled with the disappointing gameplay experience. The initial surge of concurrent players quickly dwindled, leaving The Day Before with a mere 749 players at the time of writing.
As Fntastic grapples with the studio’s uncertain future, one glimmer of hope remains for players. The servers for The Day Before and their previous multiplayer game, Propnight, will continue to operate, offering a small consolation to disappointed fans. Additionally, publisher Mytona has stepped up to offer refunds for players, even if their playtime on Steam exceeds two hours. This gesture aims to address the community’s frustration and alleviate concerns of a scam. However, the damage to Fntastic’s reputation seems irreparable.
Fntastic’s attempt to handle the spiraling situation only served to further fuel the discontent of players. On Twitter, the studio replied to criticism with an immature dismissal, stating, “This was our first big experience. Shit happens.” This response only added to the perception that the studio was ill-equipped to handle the challenges of game development. In a puzzling move, the Fntastic CEO deleted their Twitter account and the studio’s YouTube channel, almost as if attempting to erase any evidence of their existence.
The Day Before now bears the weight of an “Overwhelmingly Negative” rating on Steam, with over 18,000 bad reviews. At one point, it even ranked among the 10 worst-reviewed games on the platform. This ultimately prompted Valve to remove the game entirely from their platform. The road to launch was plagued by delays, including a trademark dispute and accusations of unpaid labor. Fntastic dismissed these claims as nothing more than volunteer help but underlying doubts remained.
The Day Before’s journey from highly anticipated MMO to a failed project is a testament to the importance of transparency and accountability in the gaming industry. Fntastic’s inability to deliver on their promises, coupled with misleading marketing tactics and a lack of professionalism, ultimately led to their downfall. The Day Before serves as a cautionary tale for both game developers and players alike, highlighting the risks of unchecked ambition and the consequences of breaching player trust.