A new report on the development of The Day Before and studio Fntastic details numerous poor work practices.
Sixteen former Fntastic employees, one volunteer and seven employees of Mytona, the game's publisher, spoke to the German magazine Game star and the YouTube channel Game two to explain the abuse suffered. The respondents speak of toxic management, especially by the co-founders Eduard and Aysen Gotovtsev, disorientation in the project, crisis and very questionable treatment of the workers.
For example, Game Two's sources explain that the Gotovtsev brothers used their own discretion to fire employees and impose fines if they were dissatisfied with the work done. At one point, two employees were fined nearly two thousand dollars for, according to management, providing “poor quality” voice recordings.
A company chat message obtained by Game Two also shows Eduard Gotovtsev announcing the dismissal of an employee “due to lack of will.”
Employees have also detailed how Fntastic's internal communications platform called Continent was used to monitor productivity and even monitored personal computers while working from home. It is said that this led to “enormous psychological stress”.
In addition, crunch is “ubiquitous” in the company. There are sources that speak of working days of up to sixteen hours a day, excluding weekends or free time.
Another point of criticism is “a lack of clear vision” regarding the direction of development. According to these sources, it was common for large parts of the game to be reworked to follow the trends of the latest titles released on the market, discarding all previous work.
We already know the end product of this whole disaster: The Day Before was released in December in an indefensible state and without keeping its promises, Fntastic announced its closure four days later and a month later the servers were permanently closed. The studio briefly resurfaced last week, releasing a strange, lengthy statement (which was deleted shortly after) in which they claimed they had been the victim of a “hate campaign” on social media.