A new report on the development of The Day Before alleges Fntastic employees and «volunteers» were subject to mistreatment.
The report was published by German PC gaming outlet GameStar and YouTube channel Game Two earlier this week, and is based on testimonies from 16 former Fntastic employees, one volunteer, and seven employees at publisher Mytona.
The claims paint a bleak image of the working environment at Fntastic, which include allegations of toxic management, in particular co-founders Eduard and Aysen Gotovtsev, and a lack of direction.
Game Two’s sources claimed the Gotovtsevs would impose punishments and fire employees at their own will. In one instance, two employees were allegedly made to pay a fine of $1930 for turning in «low quality» voice recordings. An internal work chat obtained by Game Two is said to show Eduard Gotovtsev announcing an employee’s dismissal due to «lack of will».
Former employees also spoke of Fntastic’s own internal communication platform called Continent, which was used to monitor productivity. Even when working from home, the report alleged, workstations could be monitored and employees could be contacted at all times. This caused «enormous psychological stress», sources said.
The report described crunch as an «omnipresent theme» at Fntastic. Sources alleged they had to work for over 16 hours a day, with no weekends or time off.
Employees also claimed there was a «lack of a clear vision» from management on the direction of The Day Before. Sources say they were frequently told to redo work to follow the trends of the latest games being released.
All of this resulted in a critically panned game which was shut down about a month and a half after it released into early access. Developer Fntastic shut down four days after The Day Before released, and Steam worked with Mytona to issue refunds.
The story of The Day Before still continues. Last week Fntastic resurfaced on social media to blame the saga on a «hate campaign» in a lengthy and bizarre statement, though it was quickly deleted.