The Day Before: Everything we know about the delayed survival MMO

The Day Before
(Image credit: MYTONA)

The Day Before is an ambitious upcoming survival MMO from developer Fntastic that has quickly become one of the most anticipated new games for 2023. Set in post-pandemic America, the open-world we'll be exploring is said to be overrun by zombie-like infected inhabitants who have a taste for flesh. But that's not the only threat we'll have to contend with – other survivors are willing to kill for valuable resources in the name of survival. First announced in 2021, The Day Before continues to top the most wishlisted games on Steam (opens in new tab) – ranking higher than Starfield and Hollow Knight: Silksong, and second only to Hogwarts Legacy

Well, it would be, if The Day Before steam page were still online. Fntastic has entered into a trademark dispute over the game name with a private individual, forcing a The Day Before delay and a new November release date. If you were hoping to see new The Day Before gameplay, it has sadly been confirmed that a new trailer for one of the most intriguing upcoming PC games has also been pushed back. We've got information on all that and more below, as we cover everything you need to know about The Day Before.

The Day Before release date  

The Day Before

(Image credit: Fntastic)

The Day Before release date is now November 10, 2023. The open world survival game was originally due to launch on March 1, 2023, although a delay pushed the game back by 10 months. This isn't the first time that we've seen The Day Before delayed, with Fntastic originally missing a June 2022 window to shift development to Unreal Engine 5.

The Day Before delay

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Fntastic was forced to announce a The Day Before delay on January 25, following a trademark dispute. The studio says that "at the time of the announcement, The Day Before game trademark was available" but that in the months since its announcement "a private individual filled out an application before us to register the game trademark The Day Before in the United States." Fntastic says it was only recently made aware of claims against the studio's use of the trademarked name, and is now working to "solve everything" – citing this as the principal reason for a delay of the both the game and any new footage. 

The Day Before Steam page

While a new The Day Before gameplay trailer was expected to land in January 2023, fans were instead surprised to find that The Day Before Steam page was delisted. At the time, the studio believed that a "minor technical difficulty" had caused the page to go offline, and that one of the most wishlisted pages on the platform would return shortly. We now know that the Steam page for The Day Before went offline because of a copyright claim against the game from a private individual. It is currently unclear when the page will return online.

The Day Before platforms 

The Day Before

(Image credit: Fntastic)

The upcoming MMO is currently set to land on PC at launch, with Fntastic also confirming that it is looking at the possibility of The Day Before Xbox Series X/S and PS5 releases. It's not yet clear when console versions will be ready.  

The Day Before Unreal Engine 5 

The Day Before

(Image credit: Mytona)

The delayed release of The Day Before came as a result of the decision to move the development of the project onto Unreal Engine 5. In a statement to IGN (opens in new tab), Fntastic stated that the move to the "more advanced and adapted open worlds engine will make the gameplay of The Day Before even more fantastic". As we've seen from other upcoming Unreal Engine 5 games, the latest engine from Epic is able to deliver an incredibly realistic level of detail that really makes the most of new-gen technology. The environments we've seen glimpses of so far already look impressive, but The Day Before's world will undoubtedly benefit from the move – here's hoping it adds to the level of immersion as we scavenge locations. 

The Day Before Trailer

The first initial reveal trailer for The Day Before dropped back in 2021, giving us our first look at a gameplay demo of the MMO. With a guided tour of some locations complete with narration, we got to see some scavenging – including looting a cowboy hat – some gunfights against the infected, and some PvP action for good measure, it instantly gave us Last of Us meets The Division vibes at first glance. The script of the trailer certainly made it a memorable one to say the least. Following on from the debut showcase of the game, a more recent trailer also landed that showed off some of the environments of the post-pandemic setting with ray-tracing.

The Day Before gameplay  

The Day Before

(Image credit: Mytona)

While we've gotten to see glimpses of the game in trailers, our first look at gameplay footage came in a video from IGN back in 2021 (opens in new tab). The footage shows two players scavenging around for supplies in a gas station and taking out infected foes nearby with their guns. The footage offers some insight into the inventory and how we'll be able to loot - which does bring to mind State of Decay in some respects. With the release date just a matter of months away, we've still not seen all that much of the game in action, especially since the move to Unreal Engine 5. 

Interestingly, The Day Before's developer announced on its Discord channel via YouTuber Skill Up (opens in new tab) that "raw gameplay footage" is due to land sometime in January just six weeks before its due to launch. Hopefully this will offer more insight and a proper look into how the MMO plays out in the post-pandemic setting. 

The Day Before controversy  

The Day Before

(Image credit: Mytona)

With a growing sense of anticipation surrounding the MMO since its reveal in 2021, there has been some scepticism and controversy surfacing about The Day Before. Some controversy surfaced shortly after the news of a delay, when the studio appeared to be looking for "volunteers" to help with its upcoming projects (although it's clear as to whether this was related to The Day Before, specifically). The biggest sticking point was the website's description of part-time volunteers "ranging from translating to community moderating" who receive non-monetary rewards such as "participation certificates and free codes". 

The scepticism on the other hand, is largely due to the fact that we haven't really seen all that much gameplay or had substantial information about the game, which has only intensified as we draw closer to the release date. The most recent video which showed off ray-tracing didn't show any gameplay footage, and fans appear to remain quite sceptical on whether The Day Before can deliver on its promises

A fan of MMOs? Check out our pick of the best MMORPGs and MMOs. 

Heather Wald
Senior staff writer

I started out writing for the games section of a student-run website as an undergrad, and continued to write about games in my free time during retail and temp jobs for a number of years. Eventually, I earned an MA in magazine journalism at Cardiff University, and soon after got my first official role in the industry as a content editor for Stuff magazine. After writing about all things tech and games-related, I then did a brief stint as a freelancer before I landed my role as a staff writer here at GamesRadar+. Now I get to write features, previews, and reviews, and when I'm not doing that, you can usually find me lost in any one of the Dragon Age or Mass Effect games, tucking into another delightful indie, or drinking far too much tea for my own good. 

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