It’s startling to think The Day Before was once the most wishlisted game on Steam, given how fast and spectacular its fall from grace has been. Earlier this month, the game launched to scathing reviews from critics and players alike, panning it as a shallow, empty extraction shooter that was nothing like what its developer Fntastic originally promised. Just four days later, Fntastic announced it was shutting its doors, with the developer claiming that it “lack[ed] the funds to continue”. A few hours after that, the game was pulled from sale on Steam, though the actual servers remained online.
For those players who could still access it, the fate of the game itself has remained uncertain. Until now. Earlier today, The Day Before’s official Twitter account posted a statement confirming the game will be shut down next month. “We regret to inform you that the development company Fntastic has officially ceased operations, and as a result The Day Before will be retired and the servers will be turned off on 22 January 2024.”
The statement then explains The Day Before’s investor, Mytona “has been working in collaboration with Steam to facilitate refunds for all game purchasers”, adding that Steam will “proactively refund all remaining players”. It ends by thanking all of the game’s supporters “throughout this journey”. There is no apology for the state of the game on launch, nor its extraordinarily short lifespan, though the account did retweet an apology from Mytona on December 11.
pic.twitter.com/GIX4ZAztnyDecember 22, 2023
Indeed, it isn’t entirely clear who the statement is from, whether it’s a spokesperson for Fntastic, its sibling founders Eduard and Aisen Gotovtsev, or someone from Mytona. Fntastic itself is apparently gone, done, dusted. Moreover, in a statement on December 11, Fntastic’s Twitter account claimedthat “All income received is being used to pay off debts to our partners,” which would presumably include Mytona as an investor. It’s all a bit vague and uncertain.
Then again, that’s nothing new. The Day Before looked like a dodgy prospect way before its debacle of a launch. Although it showed promise in its early trailers, repeated delays and the game’s use of unpaid, volunteer workers caused concerns to grow about what the final game would look like. At the start of this year, the game was delayed another eight months and pulled from Steam entirely, with the developers citing a trademark dispute as the reason. They it changed its story to say it was delaying the game regardless of the dispute, which did nothing to help mounting suspicions that the game might be a scam.
The studio did eventually beat the lawsuit and, after one last delay in November, committed to a launch this month. Just before the game came out, Fntastic issued a series of “revelations”, which was more like a desperate attempt to placate expectant players, requesting players “don’t accuse us of scamming” and assuring fans that “Together we will continue improving the game and adding content.”
Whatever bizarre story lies behind The Day Before’s development, this latest news is not remotely surprising, and while it’s always disappointing when a game fails to deliver, the scale of The Day Before’s failure was such that it’s unlikely many players will miss it. In fact, the only people likely to shed a tear for it are those who paid $400 for a Steam key of the game on eBay after it was pulled from sale. Though even then, they’ll be grieving for the gaping hole in their wallets rather than the game itself.