Game Studio Fntastic Shuts Down Days After Releasing Much Awaited Title; Gamers Call it a Scam

Game Studio Fntastic Shuts Down Days After Releasing Much Awaited Title; Gamers Call it a Scam
Cover Image Source: (L) Fntastic via Steam | (R) Pexels | Tim Mossholder

In a complete turn-around, gaming studio Fntastic has been forced to shut down just days after launching its highly anticipated open-world game, "The Day Before." The new title was launched on December 7, 2023, on Windows PC via Steam after a year of coverage by gaming journalists, which also stoked curiosity among gamers. The game attracted almost 500k viewers on Steam despite it being tagged as a scam by many gamers, and even though it sold early access for $40, its developer Fntastic has now announced that it is shutting down completely.

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The announcement says that the studio is closing because the game has "failed financially" and they don't have funds to continue operations. They also said that they have tried their best and invested all their efforts, resources, and man-hours into the development of "The Day Before," which was their first major title. The studio insisted that they didn’t take any money from the public during the development of 'The Day Before,' and there were no pre-orders or crowdfunding campaigns.

The Day Before | Fntastic
Still image from "The Day Before" | Fntastic

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The game was controversial because the studio seemed unwilling to share details about the game, which made people have doubts about it. Another fact that contributes to the discussion surrounding the game's authenticity is the fact that the game was mostly developed by volunteers rather than paid employees. There were rumors that a lot had been stolen from other games and that there was a trademark dispute which also pushed the release date by eight months. 

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The Steam page of the game which is no longer active said that the game was an open-world MMO survival game that was set in post-pandemic America which is overrun by flesh-hungry infected people killing each other for food. However, the game was met with negative responses and many people said that the game was a technical mess. People also criticized the fact that the studio claimed that it took them 5 years to make this game. Much of the game seems to have been made using assets that became available only in 2021 and 2022 which suggests that the game was developed in the last 2 years.



 

 

The gaming studio took to X to announce the shutdown and people were quick to respond beneath the post, expressing their anger and frustration towards the game. "Scam, y'all taking the money you made and are running from your scam, you falsely advertised the day before for years and put out a game nothing like what you advertised. We all know you aren’t shutting down because you lack funds, but because you’re taking the money and running," read one of the top comments under the announcement post. Another comment read, "Closing a studio 1 week after a terrible release is sus. Sounds more like thanks for your money, we are closing now don’t contact us cya."

The Steam page has more than 18,000 reviews and a 20% approval rate, so the question is where did all the money that people used to buy the game and gain early access go? Rumor has it that the studio is unable to pay the employees amid the shutdown. There is no proof of this being a huge scam as the business is registered in Singapore, but shutting down in just 4 days of release looks like a poor decision.

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