Steam keys for the unavailable disaster game The Day Before are being resold for up to $400, despite its servers’ uncertain future

The Day Before is 2023’s fastest-moving disaster—starting off as a top-wishlisted game on Steam after an alluring trailer, it only took four days after its (eventual) launch before the thing was taken down. Following that, the Discord server, YouTube, and even CEO‘s social media channels disappeared or were scrubbed. The developer’s response? “Shit happens.”

(Image credit: @FntasticHQ on Twitter/X.)

In the wake of this absolute calamity of a launch, you might think that absolutely no-one would want to play The Day Before. Unfortunately, that’s not how rarity and value works. As reported by Kotaku, Steam Keys for The Day Before are being sold for anywhere from $200-$400 at the time of writing. That’s according to a third-party key seller aggregator Green Man Gaming. 

I feel obligated to note that key-selling websites aren’t usually trustworthy—not only does Green Man Gaming’s page comes complete with risk warnings, but key resellers often source their keys via stolen credit cards or posing as influencers—sometimes even costing indie development studios time and resources to investigate fake key requests or action chargebacks.

As for why The Day Before is selling like this: prices are driven up by two things—supply and demand. We can safely cross out ‘demand’ from that equation, but considering The Day Before was up for a total of four days, supply is at an all-time low. This means that one of the worst games to come out this year is officially a collector’s item. I don’t make the rules.

For how long is another question. While studio Fntastic has stated that the “servers will remain operational,” this is the same studio that ‘pobody’s nerfect’-ed an industry-wide disappointment, so there’s no guarantee they’ll stay online. If you buy a bunch of mint-conditioned action figures hoping they’ll appreciate in value, and they don’t, you at least still have the toys to play with.

On the other hand people have spent far more money for temporary experiences. Perhaps I shouldn’t judge someone buying something, just because it is fleeting—is a flower any less beautiful because it wilts? Is The Day Before any less magical the day after? At this rate, though, a well-watered bouquet might actually last longer.

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