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Dev Behind Controversial Shooter The Day Before Shuts Down Days After Massive Steam Launch [Update]

The drama-filled saga behind one of Steam’s most-anticipated games of 2023 just took its weirdest turn yet. The Day Before maker Fntastic announced it will cease operations less than a week after accusations of swindling players with a massive bait-and-switch when it came to the true nature of its The Last of Us-looking survival game.

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“Today, we announce the closure of the Fntastic studio,” began a statement tweeted by the studio 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.”

Fntastic wrote that it worked “tirelessly for five years” on the shooter without ever taking money from players through Early Access, pre-orders, or crowdfunding. While the future of The Day Before and the studio’s other online games is “unknown,” the servers will apparently remain operational for the time being.

“We apologize if we didn’t meet your expectations,” the statement continued. “We did everything within our power, but unfortunately, we miscalculated our capabilities. Creating games is an incredibly challenging endeavor.”

At the same time its cutting its losses, Fntastic also seems to be denying accountability for the current mess surrounding The Day Before. One of Steam’s most-wishlisted games earlier this year, players flocked to the relatively unknown release which hit over 400,000 viewers on Twitch and 30,000 concurrent players on PC on its first day live.

What they quickly discovered, however, was that the Unreal Engine game that shined in trailers was not the zombie survival MMO originally marketed, but rather a buggy and relatively empty extraction shooter. The $40 release was panned in thousands of Steam reviews with players calling it a “scam,” complaining of server issues and broken levels, with many submitting refund requests.

The flash-in-the-pan launch, which left The Day Before with a rating of “mostly negative,” followed months of debate about whether the game was even real. After accusations of exploiting voluntary labor, misleading fans with plagiarized trailers and asset flips, and a legal dispute that temporarily got the game pulled from Steam amid multiple delays, players began to wonder if The Day Before was all smoke and mirrors. It might have been better if it had been.

Fntastic rejected speculation impugning its integrity and motives last week, crticizing those who “didn’t believe in us.” “To our future player who will dive into this game on December 7: We made this for you so that you will enjoy the game and it becomes a celebration,” the studio wrote in a statement at the time. “Together, we will continue improving the game and adding content.”

Just four days later, that no longer seems to be the case.

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