We’re less than three months from the June 21 release of The Day Before and it’s been virtually radio silence from Fntastic and MyTona, the game’s developer and publisher, since the release date was announced at the Mega Event back in October 2021. Even though MMOs are not really my jam, The Day Before is one of my most anticipated games of 2022, but as the game’s release gets closer the silence becomes louder, and my glass full is quickly becoming glass half empty. Which prompts the question – what is happening with The Day Before?
If you’re wondering what The Day Before is, let me give you a quick rundown. Announced in January 2021, The Day Before is an open-world survival MMO that looks heavily inspired by games such as The Division, The Last of Us and Days Gone. The game’s official Steam blurb reads as follows: “The Day Before is an open-world MMO survival set in a deadly, post-pandemic America overrun by flesh-hungry infected and survivors killing each other for food, weapons, and cars.” To be honest, after watching the trailers it’s hard not to get excited about The Day Before’s potential, as the quality of what we’ve seen is on a AAA level, especially the visuals.
However, its announcement was met with equal amounts of excitement and scepticism – on one hand you have this promising looking game, but on the other hand it’s an ambitious project from an unknown developer whose track record isn’t too crash hot. Fntastic’s credits include Dead Dozen, a game that was abandoned while in Early Access, as was its other game The Wild Eight, which was sold to another publisher before completion. The studio’s only other game is Radiant One, a short narrative-driven experience that has positive reviews, while MyTona is essentially a mobile game publisher. What is obvious is that The Day Before is a huge step up in ambitions and expectations for both companies, so you’d forgive people for trying to keep their hype in check.
Regardless, since it was revealed people have been hungry for as much information as they can get, but there have been more questions than answers. A quick peruse of the game’s subreddit, comments on its trailers or any social posts and you’ll find people who are questioning the legitimacy of this project, with some believing that The Day Before is a ‘scam’. While I don’t subscribe to those theories, there are a few things about The Day Before’s development that make me raise my eyebrows, such as the fact that it’s been in development for around three years, which doesn’t feel like a long time for a game of this size and scope given that Fntastic is a much smaller team than a AAA studio.
The last piece of official information we got came from NVIDIA in early January 2022, where it was revealed that The Day Before would support ray tracing and DLSS. Since then we’ve not had a single piece of news, trailer, image or tweet about the game. Instead, the game’s socials have been pushing Fntastic’s other game Propnight, which was announced during the Mega Event. The fact that a small team like Fntastic has enough manpower to work on Propnight while developing The Day Before is both surprising and concerning. I mean logic would suggest that The Day Before is more than enough for one development team.
In November last year I contacted Fntastic and organised an interview with the team to chat about The Day Before. However, since sending off the questions I haven’t heard anything back and all subsequent follow-ups have fallen on deaf ears. I’ve reached out to Fntastic via their social channels, as well as to MyTona to try and shed some light on the game’s current situation but alas, nothing. The silence could simply mean that Fntastic is currently heads down bum up developing the game so they can meet the June 21 release date. It’s not uncommon for developers to go radio silent in the lead up to release, especially smaller teams, but the concern is that Fntastic promised more info, even a beta, before launch, and with only a couple of months to go, this is when the marketing machine usually goes into full swing.
Another red flag is that Fntastic’s website has been down for the better part of two weeks, while the game’s official site is now also down. On the game’s Steam forums, a representative for Fntastic implies that it’s all good and that both sites will be back up soon, but the fact they’ve been down for so long is odd (UPDATE: As of 13/04 evening, both sites are up and running again). It is worth noting that several of Fntastic’s team, including its co-founders, are located in Russia (according to LinkedIn), and with the current events between Russia and Ukraine, it’s hard to know just how much the game’s development has been affected. Although, as of October 2021, the company is registered in Singapore, which could be for several reasons. Singapore is also home to MyTona, but like Fntastic, they were originally founded in Yakutsk, Russia before setting up shop in Singapore. It does seem to be more than happenstance that both companies associated with The Day Before started life in Yakutsk before ending up in Southeast Asia. But I digress.
It’s not all doom and gloom though. Even if the majority of trailers we’ve seen have been scripted (again not uncommon), The Day Before is clearly a real project and any claims that suggest otherwise are wide of the mark. Furthermore, Fntastic’s track record may not fill everyone with confidence, but the reality is that they have multiple game releases under their belts, with Propnight a game that you can buy and play right now. It’s clear that the Fntastic’s biggest problem is communication, but it’s a tough balance between keeping fans in the loop and sharing and promising too much. At this stage however, followers of The Day Before want a little reassurance.
I want to believe that The Day Before will launch on June 21 and it’ll be every bit as good as the trailers promise it to be, but I’ll admit that the lack of updates this close to release is a little concerning. I’m not ready to write Fntastic off just yet, but right now I wouldn’t be surprised if the game is delayed. However, only time will tell.