The Day Before was pitched as an open-world multiplayer survival game that looked to be part survival horror and part extraction shooter. However, after a short-lived stint in early access on Steam, the game and its developer disappeared.
For thousands of fans, The Day Before looked promising from the moment the game’s first trailer was revealed, let alone once it had moved into Unreal Engine 5. It showed a gritty post-apocalyptic world in which players would explore together or alone, competing with others to find the best loot possible and escape from the flesh-eating zombies roaming the city with it safely. Unfortunately, development was stopped after a few days in early access, and the developer has completely shut down.
Was the Day Before a Scam or Not?
It’s impossible to say whether The Day Before was a scam or not. At the time of writing, December 11, 2023, the game’s servers are still live, but no new players can purchase it. There are close to 20,000 negative Steam reviews for the title, giving it the Overwhelmingly Negative rating, and the developer has issued a statement explaining it is shutting down due to the game’s failure and a need to pay its debts.
However, none of this means the game was a scam. Gamepur has reached out to developer Fntastic and requested an interview, giving staff a chance to tell their side of the story. While we haven’t heard back from them, we’ll update this article with their response if we do. We’ve explained the entire story of what happened to The Day Before in the section at the bottom of this article.
How to Get a Refund for The Day Before
To get a refund for The Day Before, players must request a refund under Steeam’s policy. This means the game must have been played for less than a total of two hours, and the request must be made within 14 days of purchase.
However, given what has happened with this game’s developer closing down and disappearing four days after the game’s release and the fact that it’s an early access title, most fans believe players will get their money back regardless.
Valve won’t have paid Fntastic for every purchase as soon as it was made, meaning the money is still held by Steam’s owner and creator. Given the circumstances surrounding this launch, a lot of fans and games journalists, including Second Wind’s Nick Calandra, believe players will be given their money back.
What Happened to The Day Before?
The Day Before was announced with a trailer via IGN’s YouTube channel in 2021. While some suggest Fntastic paid for IGN’s coverage, we don’t know the details, so we can’t confirm if that’s true. IGN has been the main source of information on the game from that initial point, though.
News posts about The Day Before were few and far between from 2021 to its launch on December 7, 2023. We covered most of the announcements related to the title, including its strange disappearance from Steam for a while due to a copyright claim. This caused one of several delays for the game, which was a warning sign to many fans that it might not live up to their expectations.
Around the start of November 2023, Fntastic began to ramp up for the game’s release in early access, which was the first time fans heard about the move to Steam’s early access platform. However, most people seemed willing to go along with this because it meant a cheaper buy-in price and continuous development until the 1.0 release.
When The Day Before was released, it received one of the most negative responses we’ve seen people give to a game they were looking forward to. It’s hard to say these responses were unjustified either, with regular crashes, an empty world, and zombies exploding in size and clipping through every piece of environment available. It looked like a mess.
The day after the game’s release, Fntastic explained an update was coming that would introduce server and AI fixes. We can’t see any evidence of this on The Day Before’s Steam page, but that doesn’t mean the update wasn’t deployed on the server side to address the same areas.
Then, on December 11, 2023, the official Fntastic Twitter account posted the statement shown at the top of this article stating that “The day Before has failed financially,” and that “we don’t have the funding to continue the work.” The statement adds that all income received is being used to pay off debt to the company’s partners, but it’s unclear whether that refers to Steam income from The Day Before or the company’s other titles.
Almost as soon as this statement was posted, the company’s CEO, Eduard Gotovtsev, deleted his Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, every channel apart from general in the official Discord disappeared, and a Medium post about being a volunteer at the company was deleted. Even the YouTube channel was wiped, despite videos of The Day Before existing elsewhere and documenting every glitch in the game.
This is the story so far, and it doesn’t look good for the developer. However, there could be other elements at play. Fntastic’s statement states it must pay off debts, which could indicate a loan either to a bank or private equity investor. Given the attention The Day Before’s initial reveal trailer received, it could have also drawn in investors in Fntastic who were willing to put up cash to help it bring the game to life.
However, investors eventually want to see returns, especially banks demanding regular payments. Asking for more time could be the reason behind the game’s many delays. But the eventual release into early access, and the surprise shift to that format, may be an indication that Fntastic had to release the game due to pressure from third parties.
Following that release and the subsequent negative reception, Fntastic’s quick closure could also be seen as a necessary move to protect staff and close the book on whatever debt the company had racked up. Of course, this is just one interpretation of the data we have, and there could be so much more to the story that we’re unaware of.
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