the day before fntastic game

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‘The Day Before’ controversy, explained: Why the death of an indie game studio stands as a cautionary tale for creators

Indie game developer Fntastic spent years working on their highly-anticipated horror game. Four days after its debut, the studio shuttered.


Steven Asarch


Posted on Dec 13, 2023


Trust between fans, creators, and game publishers is a fickle mistress. It can easily be broken, leading fans to feel misused and betrayed when their favorite creator misleads them into purchasing a disappointing game. No situation captures the unstable bond between creator and fan better than the recent scandal behind Fntastic studio, which recently announced its closure after releasing its massively-hyped but ultimately-broken game, “The Day Before.”

Gamers love to imagine themselves as the last holdouts in a post-apocalyptic world full of danger and gnawing corpses. It’s why “Left 4 Dead” and “The Last of Us” are considered masterpieces years after their initial release. Fntastic’s “The Day Before” was first revealed in 2021 in a now-deleted teaser trailer: full of high-stakes action, third-person combat, and zombie shooting, it generated so much fan hype that the game shot to the top of Steam’s most-wished list, meaning hundreds of thousands of gamers would receive any updates about the game’s expected launch from Fntastic.

But once the hysteria wore out, players realized that Fntastic had oversold and under-delivered on its product. Promised a fully open-world survival game with crafting, collecting, and a limitless zombie horde to slaughter, users found themselves immersed in a janky, broken game. Even more gallingly, some of Fntastic’s assets were purchased online from other creators in an asset pack worth about $300 from the Steam marketplace. …

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*First Published: Dec 13, 2023, 4:59 pm CST