What happens when a game studio shuts down and runs away with the backers’ money? A leak of internal messages reveals the backstage of the failure of The Day Before, a survival game in a post-apocalyptic world.
The Day Before was an ambitious project from Fntastic, a Russian company that promised to deliver an immersive and realistic survival experience in a scenario ravaged by a pandemic. The game caught the attention of many fans of the genre, who supported the crowdfunding campaign on the Kickstarter website.
Released on November 7, 2023 with a considerable amount of negative reviews, Fntastic announced the cancellation of the game and the closure of the studio, claiming financial difficulties and technical problems. The backers were outraged and demanded the refund of the money invested, but received no answer.
In this brief period it was revealed by leaks on Reddit pages by the user @zVISCERAL, that The Day Before sold more than 200 thousand units, however it was also requested more than 90 thousand refund requests within the Steam platform.
Now, a leak of internal messages from the development team and the volunteers who worked on the game reveals that Fntastic planned a fraudulent exit from the beginning. In the messages, it is possible to see that the developers knew that the game was far from being finished and that they used assets bought in the Unreal Engine store to create the scenes of the trailer and the demonstrations. They also discussed how to deceive the backers and the press, making up excuses and lies about the progress of the game.
One of the most shocking excerpts shows the founder of Fntastic, Edvard Khachatryan, saying that the game was just a “social experiment” and that he would run away with the money to a paradise island. He also mocked the backers, calling them “idiots” and “sheep”.
The Day Before is another example of how crowdfunding projects can become a nightmare for consumers, who trust the good faith of the creators and have no guarantees of receiving the promised product. The case also raises questions about the ethics and responsibility of game developers, who must respect their fans and offer an honest and transparent work.
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