The Day Before studio Fntastic allegedly forced developers to crunch

A new report has alleged unrealistic deadlines and poor working conditions impacted the release of The Day Before.
the day before game fntastic

New reports from German outlets GameStar and GameTwo have alleged The Day Before studio Fntastic fostered a toxic work environment that may have contributed to the poor quality of the game on release. As surfaced by IGN and PC Gamer, the outlets spoke to around 16 former Fntastic employees and seven staff from the game’s publisher Mytona, with each sharing their personal experiences.

Speaking on record, these sources alleged sweeping changes to the scope and ambition of the game, as well as the alleged use of young, poor volunteer staff with no other options for employment. They also allege Fntastic forced workers to pay fines for submitting work that was poor or under the standard.

Read: The Day Before studio Fntastic announces closure

One employee was allegedly forced to pay USD $1,930 for turning in voice recordings with poor audio quality. Multiple sources have corroborated this claim, and alleged the fine system was used as punishment throughout work on The Day Before.

Many sources also shared significant fears of losing their jobs, as management was allegedly prone to firing people spontaneously, for seemingly little reason. One source has alleged five testers were fired after one of the studio’s founders spotted a bug right before release.

Per the GameStar and GameTwo reports, the development of the game was riddled by these issues. Sources have alleged work on the game began on a much smaller scale, with developers told The Day Before would be a short survival game with a winter theme. At some point, ideas for the game allegedly grew wilder and more ambitious, with developers then forced to pivot. With the viral success of The Day Before‘s early trailers, these ambitious allegedly grew further, forcing unrealistic workloads onto developers.

Sources allege there was a culture of crunch at the studio, with many employees working more than 16 hours a day to meet demands. Multiple sources speaking to GameStar and GameTwo claimed they barely had any breaks, and had whole months with zero days off.

The allegations revealed in these reports are fairly shocking, and may hint at why The Day Before had such a troubled launch – one that led to Fntastic’s sudden closure. To understand more about these allegations, the GameStar and GameTwo reports are well worth seeking out for yourself.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.