Despite announcing its closure in December just days after the hugely controversial The Day Before released, developer Fntastic has re-emerged on X to defend itself against what it has called a “hate campaign.”
Fntastic posted the image below which attempts to address various items, including reports from websites that managed to speak to developers from within the team who wished to remain anonymous.
The Day Before was a controversial game throughout its development due to odd statements from the developers, copyright battles, trailer delays, gameplay not being shown, accusations of asset flips, and much more. If you’d like a reminder of everything, I wrote a whole, lengthy article on the subject. It’s freaking massive because there’s honestly a hell of a lot to cover.
One of the key points Fntastic makes is that “certain” bloggers were deceptive and made money from talking about the game negatively.
“Certain bloggers made huge money by creating false content with huge titles from the very beginning to gain views and followers, exploiting the lack of information about the game’s development,” Fntastic said.“Their actions triggered a gold rush among content creators due to the game’s pre-release popularity.”
I will say there is a kernel of truth here. Negativity does tend to drive more traffic than positivity, and more traffic does equal more money in terms of ad revenue. However, I don’t think any blogger had to create false content as Fntastic implies because everything being shown and not shown was more than enough to paint a very dubious picture. Fntastic also ignores the fact that many of these “bloggers” were Youtubers showing actual footage of the game, so they weren’t exactly faking the content.
Notably, Fntastic steers clear of naming any of these bloggers or websites, presumably because if they did it could open the door for legal action to be taken against the company. But also probably because it wasn’t just a few bloggers, it was…well, almost everyone, really.
Fntastic goes on to defend against the accusations that The Day Before didn’t match up with what was promised in the trailers.
“We implemented everything shown in the trailers, ” they said, “from home improvements and a detail world to off-road vehicles. We only disable a few minor features like parkour, due to bugs but planned to include them in the full release.”
This is somewhat true, provided you only judge the full release by the newest trailers Fntastic published by certainly showed the game in a much more boring light. However, when you account for the original trailers scrubbed from the game’s official channel, a lot of content initially shown didn’t make it to the Early Access release and was never addressed.
Fntastic continued their defense by utilising a slightly bizarre argument.
“Remember the experiment where you’re asked to count pink objects in the room and then recall the blue ones? You won’t remember any. It’s all about focus. The negative bias instilled by certain bloggers making money on hate affected perceptions of the game.”
It’s an odd example to bring up, but I get what they are saying. Media coverage can, of course, influence people’s perceptions. That’s sort of the point, though, and I doubt that Fntastic would have been crowing about this if the media pushed a positive bias instead.
Fntastic also goes on to point out that petitions were made to continue the game’s development, although I can’t actually find any of those after a cursory search, that some people began modding it (people will literally mod anything, so I’m not sure that’s a compelling argument) and that “on the black market, the game’s price exceeded $200.” This last point is rather daft since all that implies is that some people were hoping to make some easy money because they wanted to bet that The Day Before vanishing would make it rare and thus valuable. Also, nobody seemed to buy it at any of these ludicrous prices.
Back in December, mere days after The Day Before launched, Fntastic announced its closure due to running out of money. The game’s servers shut down earlier this month, and since the game can’t be bought any longer, The Day Before has effective ceased to exist. To their credit, everybody who bought the game, regardless of playtime, was refunded. While I think that may have been more due to Valve, I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.
However, the end of today’s statement seems to suggest that Fntastic hasn’t shut down after all. When talking about the anonymous sources, Fntastic also states that “half of those who left returned to the company,” implying that the company is still operating. They close the statement by saying: “Finally, we encourage you to subscribe to our social networks to know what will happen next.”
So it seems despite their reputation having been nuked and their last game a total disaster, Fntastic has not shut down as they said. They also still have an ongoing collaboration with publisher Mytona.
I expect the grand return of Fntastic will not be heralded with trumpets, but rather with a single wet fart and me in the background loudly proclaiming, “Oh god, not again.”