The Day Before, once Steam’s most wish-listed open-world survival MMO, has been delisted from Valve’s platform. The game launched in early access to an almost immediate flood of negative reviews last week, with most players claiming that it wasn’t really an MMO but an extraction shooter reminiscent of Escape from Tarkov, combined with the post-apocalyptic threats of The Last of Us. The misleading gameplay claims were made worse by several game-breaking glitches that caused characters to clip off from the map, an incomplete and sparse world devoid of action, and inconsistent online features. Merely five days after release, the game is no longer available to buy on Steam and Fntastic, the studio behind the game, has announced it is shutting down and working on refunds for customers who bought the game.
“Today, we announce the closure of Fntastic studio. The Day Before has failed financially, and we lack the funds to continue,” the blog post reads, with the developer originally claiming that all earned income would be used to pay off its debts. There are no plans to patch the game and turn it into something that the creators originally hoped for either, since more funding is out of the picture. Sure, the shooter was never crowd-funded, but the accusations of stolen or repurposed assets, a barrage of misleading gameplay trailers, and a $40 price tag on a game that was quite possibly a scam didn’t work in the studio’s favour. Debuting with 38,000 concurrent players on Steam, the player base has been steadily going down — no uptick during the weekend either — as players realised how the expectations from the trailer had been wrecked. At the time of writing, The Day Before has 749 concurrent players. (Probably the select few who are looking to capture funny gameplay compilations before the server is shut down.)
Fntastic isn’t sure of the studio’s direction going forward but assures players that the servers for The Day Before and its previous multiplayer hide-and-seek game Propnight will remain operational. Understandably, disappointed players are looking for refunds and publisher Mytona is willing to do that even if the playtime on Steam exceeds two hours. As usual, this can be achieved through Steam’s Help section, which will lead to a questionnaire asking the reasons for the refund. To calm the loud accusations of a scam, Fntastic claims that it will not receive any money from the sales and admitted to heavily overestimating its capabilities as a game developer. Adding fuel to the fire was an immature response to criticism on Twitter, where Fntastic replied, “This was our first big experience. Shit happens.” For what it’s worth, hopefully, we get a new ‘Crowbcat‘ video from this colossal mess.
With the Fntastic CEO wiping his Twitter account from the internet, followed by the deletion of the studio’s YouTube channel, it’s almost as if the game maker is trying to erase any proof that the company ever existed. The Day Before currently has an Overwhelmingly Negative rating on Steam, having garnered 18,000 bad reviews, at one point placing it amongst the 10 worst reviewed games on the platform. The only reason it’s no longer listed there is because the game as a whole has been removed from the platform.
The road to launch wasn’t without its own hitches as well. The Day Before suffered countless delays — one of them a month before launch, got into a trademark dispute, and was accused of facilitating unpaid labour. Fntastic later dismissed those claims saying that those were all ‘volunteer’ help.