The developers behind The Day Before, once upon a time Steam's second most-wishlisted game, have struck out at what they call "disinformation and lack of fact-checking" in discussions about the game. In post made to Twitter last night, Fntastic said that "Disinformation needs to be dealt with as it can not only harm us but also other indies and small/medium studios," and highlighting the negative "mental impact on the members of such teams" that disinfo can have.
#thedaybefore #indiedev #gamedev pic.twitter.com/p9hOjONVIaFebruary 8, 2023
Fntastic doesn't say which disinformation, specifically, it's talking about, but it isn't too hard to guess. After a long train of strange mishaps involving a bizarre trademark dispute, an 8-month delay, and accusations of copied game trailers, it's not hard to find people online that have concluded the game is some kind of scam. I suspect it's precisely those rumours that Fntastic is obliquely addressing here.
It doesn't seem to have helped. The responses to Fntastic's tweet weren't exactly won over by the studio's intervention, with many of them engaging in mockery or straight-up accusing the devs of lying. Meanwhile, after several users implored the company to orchestrate its marketing better, it was revealed that it "[doesn't] have a marketing department at all". It does promise to "improve communication" and "transparency" in the future, though.
It got a similar response in other corners of the internet. The consensus on Reddit seems to be that the studio would have been much better off staying silent, and that the statement has only made things worse. "This is the worst dev statement I've ever seen when people have leveled so many allegations against you," said a user named OrcRobotGhostSamurai, while the top-rated comment in that thread, from Forestl, just says "It's very funny how everything they do makes this game seem more and more fake," concluding that "There's no way this is gonna end well".
I honestly can't tell you what The Day Before's deal is, except to say that it's been profoundly mishandled. The studio hasn't taken preorders and didn't fund the game with a Kickstarter or anything similar, so it's difficult to see what the grift would be if there were one. On the other hand, the debacle around the game's trademark was such a ridiculous story that I find it hard to accept at face value.
Five minutes after Fntastic decried the "disinformation" surrounding its game, it posted a new tweet, asking fans to retweet it to get access to a new video "on how [Fntastic is] developing #thedaybefore from 2019," and boasting that "The game has constantly changed and improved since then". I think the studio really should hire that marketing department.