A recent report has surfaced troubling allegations regarding the development of The Day Before, suggesting mistreatment of Fntastic employees and “volunteers.”
The investigation, led by German PC gaming outlet GameStar and YouTube channel Game Two, reveals insights from 16 former Fntastic employees, one volunteer, and seven Mytona employees, the game’s publisher.
According to the testimonies, the work environment at Fntastic was characterized by toxic management practices, particularly from co-founders Eduard and Aysen Gotovtsev, and a lack of clear direction.
Game Two’s sources claim that the Gotovtsevs employed punitive measures, including arbitrary firings and imposing fines. For instance, two employees were reportedly fined $1930 for submitting what was considered “low-quality” voice recordings. Internal communications revealed Eduard Gotovtsev’s announcement of an employee’s termination citing “lack of will.”
Additionally, Fntastic’s internal communication platform, Continent, contributed to a surveillance-like atmosphere, where remote workstations were monitored, and employees were expected to be available round-the-clock, leading to significant psychological strain.
The report also highlighted the prevalence of crunch culture at Fntastic, with employees allegedly subjected to grueling work schedules exceeding 16 hours a day, with no breaks or weekends.
Furthermore, employees expressed frustration over the lack of a coherent vision for The Day Before, often being instructed to redo work to align with prevailing gaming trends.
These unfavorable working conditions culminated in the release of The Day Before, which received widespread criticism and was eventually pulled from early access just six weeks after launch. Fntastic folded four days post-release, prompting Steam to collaborate with Mytona to issue refunds to dissatisfied customers.
Despite the game’s demise, the controversy surrounding The Day Before persists. Fntastic recently resurfaced on social media, attributing the debacle to a “hate campaign” in a now-deleted statement, adding another layer of intrigue to this unfolding saga.