The post-apocalyptic zombie game The Day Before, which has been criticized for its reported use of unpaid workers, has been delayed to November 2023 due in part to a trademark issue, it seems. The game has been pushed from March 2023 to November 2023.
Developer Fntastic and publisher Mytona said in a statement that Steam blocked The Day Before from getting a page on the store due to a request from a private individual over the game’s name. The studio said when it announced The Day Before in January 2021, the name “The Day Before” was available to trademark as a video game. After this, a person registered that name with the US Patent and Trademark Office, beating Fntastic to the punch.
Fntastic went on to say that it found out about the trademark issue on January 19, 2023, when the person owning The Day Before’s video game trademark reached out with a request to talk. “Now we find out all the circumstances of the incident and we will definitely solve everything,” Fntastic said.
The studio went on to say it had planned to release a “lengthy” gameplay video for The Day Before in January, but the video now won’t be released until the studio can “sort this issue out.” The video will be posted “ASAP,” the studio said. A new gameplay video for The Day Before was released during CES 2023. For the new gameplay video, Fntastic says lawyers have to approve its release.
For the gameplay video, we will consult with lawyers first, and then we can publish it.
— Fntastic (@FntasticHQ) January 25, 2023
Regarding the delay, Fntastic said it was necessary to push The Day Before to November 10, 2023, and it understands this might disappoint some fans. “However, we want to ensure we release the best possible game,” Fntastic said.
“Our 100% focus remains on the game itself and how to deliver you the best game possible. Thank you and we hope for your support,” the team said.
In May 2022, Fntastic announced that The Day Before shifted to the Unreal Engine 5, which resulted in a delay to 2023. Fntastic, which is an all-remote studio that has never released a game, describes its workers as “volunteers.” Company founders Eduard Gotovtsev and Aisen Gotovtsev said Fntastic has more than 100 full-time internal “volunteers,” which also means “employees,” from places like Singapore, Russia, the Netherlands, Thailand, Ukraine, Finland, Kazakhstan, and Belarus.
Fntastic also works with “supporters,” who help with testing and reviewing, and it works with about 40 of these people in the US and worldwide. Presumably some people who are working on The Day Before are being paid, but official details are unavailable. You can find out more about “life at Fntastic” in the video above.
The Day Before gives off some major The Last of Us vibes, as we saw in a previous 13-minute gameplay demo. It is set in a post-pandemic America where zombies are a constant danger and the remaining humans are fighting to control what precious few resources remain.
The game has a lot of hype behind it already, as The Day Before was, for a period of time, Steam’s most wishlisted game.