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Barely 4 days after the release of The Day Before, Fntastic has announced closure. But, why do I have a feeling this has always been the game plan? How can a studio that claimed that its games were made by volunteers also announce it is shutting down because it “lacks the funds to continue”? So many questions are swirling around my head and I hope someone will help provide the answers.

The Day Before Maker Fntastic Announces Closure

“Today, we announce the closure of Fntastic studio,” the company posted on X on December 11. “Unfortunately, The Day Before has failed financially, and we lack the funds to continue. All income received is being used to pay off debts to our partners.”

The last point in that paragraph was one of the biggest red flags I saw in that announcement. I watched one of my favorite YouTubers TheRadBrad play the game and after posting part one of the video, he announced that he would be getting a refund.

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According to Brad, The Day Before will be the first game he will ever ask for a refund. However, with the statement that any income received will be used to pay off the debt to partners, I doubt if Fntastic is ready to refund anyone scammed with their buggy copy-paste released. However, VGC reported that the game has “been widely refunded on Steam”.

The Day Before Maker Fntastic Announces Closure

Watching Brad play the game, one thing I noticed was that a lot of people had already paid for the early access. This is because he had to refresh a couple of times to find a free server in North America to log into the game after the character creation.

Although I don’t know how many players can connect to one server at a time, I counted over 30 servers in North America alone which were full. Do the maths and you may just realize how many players have paid the price for the early access—which by the way was priced at $39.99, considered outrageous by many.

“Dear Community, we would like to provide [you] with an update,” Fntastic wrote on Steam. “We are sorry for the fact that the game didn’t meet the expectations of the majority of the players. Today we are working with Steam to open up refunds for any players who choose to make a refund. We’ll give further updates in the nearest future”.

The Day Before rating plunged from mostly negative to overwhelmingly negative

The Day Before Maker Fntastic Announces Closure

I see rated “Mostly Negative” on Steam. However, this was the first time I saw a game’s rating plunge from Mostly Negative to “Overwhelmingly Negative”. If I should judge by the reviews, at least 20,288 players have played the game. So, Fntastic has made around $811,520 selling this dud to players. That’s one hell of a loot. It is important to mention that some may have played the game without leaving a review.

Going through the Fntastic’s Steam page, I realized that they released Patch 1.0.1 on December 8 which was meant to remove all “full” servers so that players will only see servers with free slots. Also, it fixed the door of Leonardo’s room that sometimes could not be opened. But that is not all.

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On the same day, Fntastic claimed to have released Patch 1.0.2 with a long list of fixes to “address the most critical issues with the game and improve overall performance”. Some of the fixes included improvement in the spawning mechanics of the infected to increase the chance of encountering them in the world. In other words, players should have seen more zombies to shoot. See the full list of fixes announced below.

The Day Before Maker Fntastic Announces Closure

However, none of the fixes was enough to save a game without a soul in the first place. Even if the performance issues of The Day Before were fixed, it would still not be a great game because it had no clear story. The game was just a fragment of other popular franchises in the survival or extraction genre.

Fntastic may just have pulled off a poorly executed scam

When Fntastic announced The Day Before, players were ecstatic because of the next-gen graphics and feel of the announcement trailer. At some point, it was the most wish-listed game on Steam. However, in front of our eyes, the stunning graphic fidelity degraded to a quality that can only be comparable to washed fake denim.

However, the watered-down graphics was not the only problem the game had. The communication was phony, just like the reasons for the numerous pushbacks. One time, the company announced that the game was pushed back because of copyright claim—which didn’t make sense.

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“We invested all our efforts, resources, and man-hours into the development of The Day Before, which was our first huge game,” Fntastic continued in its closure announcement. “We really wanted to release new patches to reveal the full potential of the game, but unfortunately, we don’t have the funding to continue the work.”

The Day Before Maker Fntastic Announces Closure

The last sentence of the second paragraph was another contentious statement. Fntastic has always claimed that its game was developed by a team of volunteers. I did a quick search on Google and couldn’t find any record of the number of employees in the company.

Every statement on the closure announcement seemed contentious and sounded like something that was not thought through—the more reason I believe this is a poorly orchestrated scam. For example, the third paragraph says,

“It’s important to note that we didn’t take any money from the public during the development of The Day Before; there were no pre-orders or crowdfunding campaigns. We worked tirelessly for five years, pouring our blood, sweat, and tears into the game. At the moment, the future of The Day Before and Propnight is unknown, but the servers will remain operational.”

Fntastic closure message

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You will rarely see a small indie developer brag about not resorting to crowdfunding or pre-orders talk more of a studio that paraded itself as a big established studio. The statement sounded like a desperate attempt to appeal to the conscience of gamers to accept the dud—and probably don’t ask for a refund.

The sentiments have remained the same both on Steam and X. I won’t be surprised if I see a flurry of lawsuits against Fntastic and their faceless team of developers.

Did you pay for The Day Before Early Access? What was your experience with the game? Let us know in the comment box below if you will ask for a refund.

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Anthony Emecheta

Anthony Emecheta has over a decade experience as a freelance writer. Gaming has always been a childhood hobby and he is excited to be collaborating with a gaming company as a content creator. It is like having all the things he loves in one place.