The Saga Behind Steam’s Most-Hyped Zombie Game Keeps Getting Weirder


Have you heard of The day before? It is an upcoming zombie-themed survival horror MMO with strong The last of us mood. Maybe you just had it on your Steam wishlist, as it consistently ranked highest among wishlisted games, surpassing titles like Bethesda’s Star field and just falls behind Hogwarts legacy. Well, things have gotten a bit mysterious regarding the popular Steam title as the game has suddenly been pulled from Valve’s store, with the developer citing a trademark issue that has now caused a nine-month delay to the game. With such a sudden turn of events, fans and mods on the game’s official Discord server are starting to suspect something might be off.

The day before was revealed in 2021. Early gameplay trailers showed scripted but promising modern survival horror, third-person shooter gameplay with loot mechanics; it was enough to give the game serious attention. Following the hype, a large number of players have wishlisted the game on Steam to stay updated on its development and upcoming release, making the title one of the most highly-desired games on the digital store. The game was initially expected to be released in 2022, but after a delay due to the switch to Unreal Engine 5, the release was pushed back to March 2023 based on a statement to IGN last year. Now the game suffers additional setbacks: both the release date and a “long gameplay video” have been postponed. The title has also disappeared from Steam; it appears that a “private individual” filed the name of the game, leading the developer to “postpone its launch to November 10” this year, while also holding back the expected gameplay video.

The day beforeThe developer of ‘s, Fntastic, delivered the disappointing news via a tweet today, stating that “Just prior to release, Steam blocked our game page at the request of a private individual, due to the name The day before.”

Kotaku has contacted Valve for comment The day before‘s Steam uninstall.

The tweet goes on to say that the developer had only found out about the trademark on January 19 this year. Hold your skepticism for a moment, because the trademark itself is real. A Sun Jae Lee had applied for it in 2021, with approval in August 2022. The trademark includes use of the name The day before in ‘artwork, artistic performances, music, show entertainment, leisure activities’ and, yes, ‘online [games].”

As noted by popular YouTuber Skill Up, the top mod on the game’s official Discord expresses some concern about whether gameplay footage was ever seen, if not a greater skepticism about the state of the game. Kotaku can’t confirm anything regarding the gameplay, but we’re noticing it as it’s starting to dominate the discussion of the game.

On Twitter, Discord, and the game’s subreddit, this skepticism was contagious. LA Noire “Doubt” memes and videos of Jonathan Frakes saying “it’s all made up” can be found among countless other statements expressing uncertainty that the game is real.

It doesn’t help that the game’s developer has been a bit of an enigma. Although they have shipped a game before, propNightthe studio also has a remote work conferencing app and talks a big game about recruiting unpaid volunteer work for its titles.

Kotaku has contacted Fntastic to get more information, but did not hear back before publication. The game is currently nowhere to be found on Steam. For now, if you’re looking forward to the game, maybe you should just get started The last of us or The division to get your post-apocalypse poop fix.

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