The Day Before developer Fntastic was struck by a trademark claim over the name of the game, leading it to be delisted on Steam.
In an announcement shared on Wednesday, the studio claimed that an individual registered the game trademark in the US soon after the announcement of The Day Before in 2021, and got in touch with them on January 19, 2023 with a formal complaint.
As a result of the situation, Fntastic announced that it was delaying the game’s launch to November 10, as well as the release of its first gameplay trailer. The Day Before was initially due to release on March 1, and had already been previously pushed back.
Now a controversy has grown among the community on Twitter, Reddit and Discord, accusing Fntastic of being misleading. Players claim that the timing of the trademark dispute is suspicious and that the studio is covering up the lack of progress in the game’s development.
Reacting to players’ claims in a statement to IGN, Fntastic co-founders Eduard and Aisen Gotovtsev have said that the delay was actually already planned before the trademark claim.
“We planned to move the game’s release before and plan to announce it with [publisher] Mytona in a ten-minute gameplay video,” they said. “And then you all know what happened. So to be on the safe side, to ensure there are no more transfers, we, along with the publisher, chose November 10. That is a safe date, given the trademark dispute.”
They added that they were confident in the issue being resolved, and that the extra time will allow them to make “overall improvements” to the title. More specifically addressing the claims that the game isn’t actually in active development, they said that the “storm will calm down eventually, and time will put everything in its place.”
“When the game comes out, people will finally see the truth,” they added.
In a separate statement, they reiterated: “We’ve been creating the game for four years. All these years have been full of sweat and blood to make this game, and for many members of our team, it is unpleasant to hear such accusations. We didn’t take a penny from people: no crowdfunding, no pre-orders, no donations. The game is fully funded by Mytona, one of the largest mobile publishers in the world, who checked the game’s build at every milestone per our contract. […] We only believe in the final product. No matter what anyone says, you’ll see for yourself on November 10 this year.”
The zombie survival MMO instantly attracted a lot of attention when it was first unveiled in 2021. Due to release in June 2022, it was delayed a month before release as Fntastic announced it was switching to Unreal Engine 5 and set to launch in March 2023.
Fntastic isn’t new to controversy – last year, the team was under fire when it was revealed that its part-time staffers were working for free.
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