We’ve covered some of the controversies surrounding The Day Before and Fntastic in the past. These include the use of unpaid volunteers, bizarre misleading trailers and a trademark issue that delayed the game’s release by nine months.
Following its eventual launch, The Day Before has quickly become one of the worst-rated games on Steam, with many critics pointing out that the game plays like an extraction shooter rather than anything resembling an MMO.
DualShockers spoke to an ex-Fntastic developer who told us that the game was never intended to be an MMO, despite continuously being marketed as such.
“I never saw it as an MMO project,” they began. “No one from our team knows why they called it an MMO. It was always a third-person shooter with some co-op mechanics. Not one RPG mechanic was implemented — skills were an idea, and they were in the prototype stage, but nothing more.”
When asked about why the marketing and development of the game were going in two different directions, they highlighted the lack of communication from Fntastic founders Eduard and Aisen Gotovtsev as a point of contention.
“No one could explain that. Maybe the CEOs knew something and didn’t tell us. Technically speaking, there were no RPG mechanics implemented. There was no possible way to put a lot of people in the world or make the world bigger. From the beginning, the idea was that servers would be under 100 people — that is not an MMO. No clans, no raids, closed hubs. It’s been that way for over two years,” they explained.
They followed up by saying that The Day Before was always intended to be modelled after “a mix of Rust, DayZ and Escape from Tarkov.”
The Day Before’s development was completely led by the Gotovtsevs, who “made every gameplay and design decision.” The developer described the chaotic working conditions of Fntastic where the studio’s founders disregarded feedback from the team and made massive development decisions based on whims.
Anyone who complained too much was kicked off the team.
“A lot of good ideas from our team were disregarded because [Eduard and Aisen] didn’t approve them. Like voice chat. Anyone who complained too much was kicked off the team. A lot of stupid ideas were implemented, removed and re-implemented because the brothers thought they knew better than us about what people wanted. A huge amount of time and work was wasted because jobs had to be done and re-done,” they said.
"Disagreeing with the founders' opinions, even if it seemed obvious, risked you being fired. When it came to heated disputes, contracts were usually terminated. Employees often avoided direct conflict with them because they were afraid of losing their jobs."
When the decision had been reached to close the studio, Eduard told the team about some purchasing statistics and said The Day Before had been “financially unsuccessful.” The team received no other info about why the studio was closing.
The developer also confirmed the authenticity of Eduard Gotovtsev’s message which was leaked and has been circulating social media since. The leaked screenshot reveals that The Day Before sold approximately 200k units and was refunded around 90,000 times.
When asked why Fntastic shut down, they speculated that publisher Mytona was responsible and they “didn’t think the CEOs got any money from sales.” DualShockers has reached out to Mytona for comment.
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