After 'suffering' internet skepticism and a trademark dispute, survival game The Day Before returns to Steam with a new early access release date

We might actually play The Day Before soon.

After spending the year without a Steam page due to an apparent trademark dispute, the drama-prone survival game has returned to the platform with a new trailer and a new release date. Instead of November 10, The Day Before is now scheduled to release on December 7, and in early access.

We've been following The Day Before with curiosity since we noticed that it was near the top of Steam's Most Wishlisted chart back in January. Its old 2021 gameplay trailer was visually impressive in places but heavily scripted, and details about how the game worked were unclear even though, at the time, it was supposed to release in March. We wondered what the deal was, and things got a bit weird after that.

The Day Before disappeared from Steam, which Singaporean developer Fntastic blamed on a trademark dispute with a calendar app. After delaying the game to November 10, the studio went ahead with a "raw gameplay reveal" event in February, but the footage failed to convince doubters that The Day Before deserved the hype it had somehow accrued. (Perhaps just by virtue of being an upcoming survival game on Steam.) Someone also noticed that certain scenes from The Day Before's trailers imitated scenes from a Call of Duty Zombies trailer, which isn't the worst game marketing misdemeanor ever, but not the way to win over an increasingly skeptical audience.

...all these years we've been going through pain, suffering and blood, but we're doing everything possible to go through all the obstacles to the very top.

Fntastic CEO Eduard Gotovtsev

A weird "volunteer" program and dramatic communication style heightened the tension between Fntastic and onlookers: After the suspicious response to its reveal in February, the company posted a statement about the dangers of "disinformation," and in June, still with no Steam page, declared that The Day Before would soon be "back at the top of the wishlists." (Which it now is, actually.)

We didn't hear much after that, so last week I asked Fntastic CEO Eduard Gotovtsev whether The Day Before was still going to release on November 10, because even members of the game's official Discord server were wondering. 

"All this time, we've been focused on developing the game itself," wrote Gotovtsev. "You know for us it's a huge leap forward from a little indie studio from the edge of the world and over all these years we've been going through pain, suffering and blood, but we're doing everything possible to go through all the obstacles to the very top. We've encountered everything, from people's disbelief to trademark attacks."

(Image credit: Fntastic)

That trademark dispute has now been resolved in Fntastic's favor, Gotovtsev tells us, which is why The Day Before can return to Steam with its original name. If there isn't another delay, the survival game will release in early access on December 7 at 10 am Pacific. It'll cost $39 during its early access period, and $49 whenever it exits early access. 

This is the first we're hearing about early access—until today, Fntastic has only spoken in terms of a full release. The studio says it chose early access because The Day Before is its "first huge game, and there may be unforeseen circumstances." There's no date set for the full release, which is also when the console versions will come out, according to the developer.

The new trailer embedded at the top of this article might finally set appropriate expectations for The Day Before. The corny, computerized-sounding narration aside, it looks like an early access survival game to me: there's lootin', drivin', character progression, and PvP. We'll check it out when it's available and report back on how it is, but I can already tell you that my only goal if I play it will be to fill my inventory with cans of "Bebsi."

(Image credit: Fntastic)
Tyler Wilde
Executive Editor

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley during the '80s and '90s, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on early PCs. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now, and PS1 classic Bushido Blade (that's right: he had Bleem!). Tyler joined PC Gamer in 2011, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. His hobbies include amateur boxing and adding to his 1,200-plus hours in Rocket League.