Just four days after the ugly launch of not-quite-a-survival-MMO The Day Before on Steam, developer Fntastic says it is closing its doors because the game flopped.
“The Day Before has failed financially, and we lack the funds to continue,” the studio said in a statement posted to Twitter. “All income received is being used to pay off debts to our partners.
“We invested all our efforts, resources, and man-hours into the development of The Day Before, which was our first huge game. We really wanted to release new patches to reveal the full potential of the game, but unfortunately, we don’t have the funding to continue the work.”
Fntastic said in the closure message that it has taken no money from the public during the development of The Day Before, adding that there were no crowdfunding or preorder campaigns prior to release.
(Image credit: Fntastic (Twitter))
After an extended period of hype, controversy, and deep skepticism surrounding The Day Before that saw it temporarily removed from Steam over a trademark dispute, it finally launched on Steam on December 7 and immediately ran into trouble. Server issues were widespread, but players were also surprised to discover that it wasn’t quite the zombie-infested survival MMO they were expecting.
Instead, it bore a number of characteristics of an extraction shooter, similar to Escape From Tarkov except not very good. The reaction was immediate and intense. The Steam rating crashed to “mostly negative” and the official Day Before Discord was temporarily locked down as moderators struggled to keep a lid on the upset.
There was a presumption that patches would be forthcoming to smooth out at least some of the roughest bits, but that’s apparently now off the table. Predictably, users on The Day Before Discord server are once again enthusiastically venting their frustrations, accusing Fntastic of perpetrating a scam right from the start, and this time there’s no mod team to put a stop to it.
In the short time since Fntastic announced the studio’s closure, most of The Day Before’s official Discord server has evaporated. Every text and voice channel except the general chatroom has been deleted, and the server-news channel Fntastic used to keep communicate progress on the game has been scrubbed of every message. The final message to be posted was a goodbye from Discord moderator Levitate, but even that’s gone now.
(Image credit: Levitate (Discord))
“A last goodbye and thank you from myself and the rest of your moderation team and volunteers,” Levitate wrote. “We appreciated all the fun we’ve had over the time we spent here. We had our community ups and downs! The kind words today were appreciated from the mods. [Fntastic] fumbled and tried to use us as a scapegoat. One day, someone will make the game we all desire.”
Even for a game that’s followed a path as convoluted as that taken by The Day Before, this is a bizarre and entirely unexpected outcome. I’ve reached out to Fntastic for more information and will update if I receive a reply.