The Day Before, at one time was the game with the most wishlists on Steam, was quietly released on Steam on December 8. Four days later, the game developers Fntastic announced they have shut down, and the game is now not on sale on Steam.
Fnatstic, in its official statement, says that “The Day Before has failed financially, and we lack the funds to continue.”
The developer behind asymmetrical multiplayer game Prop Night (which received modest acclaim), social deception game The Wild Eight among other titles, revealed The Day Before in 2021 with a rather impressive-looking trailer. (Admittedly, we too were impressed when we first reported that story.)
However, shot-for-shot comparisons has revealed later on that the trailer as well as subsequent trailers, showing gameplay footage running on Unreal Engine 5, takes a lot of inspirations from other games and media’s trailers, with a lot of asset store assets usage.
(All of the game’s trailers as posted by Fntastic’s YouTube channel has since been deleted or hidden from public search.)
The use of assets bought from the asset store isn’t entirely frowned upon. It’s fine to use legally acquired assets especially for a small independent development team that cannot afford to produce in-house assets at this scale. But the way it is used here, trying to imitate established trailers without adding their own artistic flair or spin to it, is frowned upon. That’s what’s called an asset flip
The Day Before, which was billed as an MMO survival shooter, spread mostly through word of mouth, but various content creators like Kira has called out what could be a potential scam, in that the game won’t deliver its promise and live up to its hype.
Fnatastic continued to insist that the game is not a scam or an asset flip.
The game launched and was revealed to be an extraction shooter of sorts rather than a proper MMO, laden with bugs and glitches. Player count, according to SteamDB, peaked at 38,000 players before crashing down into less than 5,000 players throughout last weekend.
Here’s Kira’s take on the state of the game at launch:
The Day Before, which launched as an Early Access game, is not for sale anymore on Steam. Publisher/investor Mytona are working with Steam to allow refunds to all players, regardless of playtime, for the game.
The lead up of The Day Before’s launch in the past years was also filled with questionable turns of events, like the game being suddenly delisted due to a trademark dispute and Fntastic’s use of unpaid volunteers to develop their games.
The Day Before is a cautionary tale for small developers attempting to make a AAA-passing game. Every bit of information about the game has been scrutinised by sceptic creators and media, for good reason. It’s also a cautionary tale to us gamers that fancy graphics are accessible to all levels of game developers these days and does not guarantee a quality game.