The day before is currently the most searched game on Steam, but it’s grabbing attention for a very different reason. The studio currently uses “volunteers” who are paid with “participation certificates” and free codes, which are, you know, perfect for paying rent.
“Fntastic’s culture is based on the idea of volunteerism,” explains the studio’s official website. “That means every Fntastic member is a volunteer.” However, some developers are more willing than others. Full-time volunteers receive a salary, while part-time volunteers who work on translation and community moderation are paid in certificates of participation and game codes. However, the studio has also encouraged these workers not paid to “offer unique skills to improve our projects or create new special features”.
The workshop explained at Good game that the unpaid aspect “isn’t about writing code or the development itself…just things like localization and moderation”. Apparently these jobs are not considered part of game development at Fntastic, even though they very a lot are in AAA studios. It’s also a little worrying that they’re willing to use unpaid part-timers to contribute features to an open-world MMO, a type of game that’s said to be simple and easy to create. Not really.
So what’s the reason not to pay people to work on one of the most anticipated PC games? According to her YouTube video, “Volunteering means you are willingly participating in working for a common cause…Volunteering means that in every action you take, you bring some pleasure.” Kotaku contacted to ask if Fntastic had any negative experiences with traditional employees, but had not received a response as of press time.
The Day Before is a zombie survival MMO that uses realistic environments during combat and co-op features. May 5, IGN reported that The day before would be delayed to March 1, 2023 to accommodate its move to Unreal Engine 5.