The games industry is a machine that greatly depends on hype, and it’s commonplace to see showcases of popular games generate great amounts of it and then plummet down with the same intensity all in a short span of time. Video games are a tough cake to bake – large amounts of capital are involved and the desired output is never guaranteed. As such, it can happen that a project starts out great, generates tons of hype, but eventually dies out before it even sees the light of day.
There are plenty of promising games and ambitious projects that fall under this very bracket, and one of the biggest games that we would like to discuss is The Day Before. Currently in development at FNTASTIC, the game turned many heads when it was announced back in 2021, and as of the time of writing – the game is slated to release in less than a month on 10 November 2023 for PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.
But what’s concerning here is that the developer has been radio silent for months now, and it all seems pretty weird since developers start to aggressively market their games when they are this close to release. So, what’s exactly going on here?
To recap, The Day Before is an open-world MMO that’s best described as an amalgamation of The Last of Us and The Division. Players drop into a shared open world that’s filled with zombies, and you must do everything and anything to survive in this hostile landscape. You can loot weapons and ammunition to defeat zombies, but it’s important to pick your battles and leave the rest. As for the co-op mechanics, players can cooperate with each other to achieve their shared goals or antagonize each other to steal precious loot. The open world was shown to have different biomes like muddy swamps, towering business parks, abandoned fuel stations, and much more – and players could traverse through this expansive space through vehicles.
FNTASTIC presents it all with striking attention to detail, and the mechanics also look solid with a great weapon feel and weighty animations. At first glance, it looked like The Day Before had some potential and that it could turn out to be a fun time provided it is able to fulfill that promise. And that’s where the issue lies, the developer hasn’t really been able to convince anyone when it comes to the believability of that project – and that’s sadly an issue that continues to persist mere weeks before its release.
The Day Before was scheduled to release on March 1, 2023. But back in January of this year, the game became the subject of a legal dispute as someone else trademarked the game’s name before FNTASTIC was able to do it themselves – which has seemingly resulted in the eventual delay of the game to November 10 this year. The only update that has been released during this period is a brief teaser that was released in June earlier this year, which isn’t much to say the very least.
Rumors state that the developer is in the process of renaming the game to Dayworld, and while that could be true for all intents and purposes – the developer has already taken a very long time to solve that trademark. Sure, we can understand that such disputes can be complex and even have a knock-on effect on marketing – but putting its fans in the dark for so long just doesn’t make any sense.
Looking at all the evidence and information accrued up to this point, there are just two possible options – either the legality issues are too complex to go around that the marketing around the game has completely halted or the development isn’t really going smoothly enough to meet out this release date. But one thing is definitely clear, that the game is sailing through some troubled waters right now.
As much as one would like to believe the former of the two possibilities, there’s a ton of supporting evidence for the latter. You see, The Day Before has always been shown off in very restricted environments like well-directed gameplay segments and cinematic trailers. The press never got even a closed preview of the game, and there have been no public betas for the game either. As such, there’s no real way to confirm that the game is even playable or not. Between this and the fact that this debut project comes from an unproven developer, there’s always the likelihood that the game might just be a hoax. We have seen plenty of similar instances of promising games that eventually turned out to be vaporware – and it could be that The Day Before might just never see the light of day.
Of course, it’s also possible that the situation might not be as grave – and that the developer might just need more time to solve its legal trademark issues and work on polishing the game out. And if we take this assumption as the truth of the situation, a delay announcement is imminent in the coming days.
You see, the hype for The Day Before has been on a downward spiral following the delay and its trademark issues. At this point, not many fans are really convinced that the game will ever see the light of day – and not putting any effort into proper marketing is just making matters worse. The credibility of any entertainment product largely depends on the hype surrounding it, and The Day Before has lost most of its generated hype – and we are seeing no efforts from the developer to rebuild that trust and hype for its upcoming project.
So in many ways – The Day Before is already dead before it even releases. But as we discussed previously, the chances of the game actually releasing in November – if at all – are looking pretty slim. Of course, it’s important that we acknowledge that this is our speculation based on historical context and general trends within the industry – and we could be wrong for all we know. But what’s clear is that The Day Before is currently standing in a very unfavorable territory and the developer seems to be doing very little to steer clear of those conditions.
While the general tone of this feature has been pessimistic considering the factors around the game itself, we do hope that The Day Before (or whatever it ends up being called) sees the light of day. As previously stated, the concept of the game and its quality execution is something that has a ton of potential – and we would love to be a part of a living, breathing post-apocalyptic world where players can coexist with each other and work together to achieve their shared goals. But so far, all of this seems like a giant hoax.
Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, GamingBolt as an organization.