Just two weeks ago, long-awaited post-apocalyptic survival game The Day Before landed on Steam with a thud, drawing thousands of negative player reviews and thousands more refunds from unhappy buyers. Five days later, developer Fntastic announced it was shutting down and removed The Day Before from Steam.
Now, that disastrous release is commanding high prices on reseller sites, where gray market Steam keys for The Day Before are going for more than $200.
That’s according to price tracker GG.deals, spotted by Kotaku, which shows secondhand Steam keys for sale between $215 and $485 (not including fees). GG.deals’ price tracker shows The Day Before keys for sale on sites like Kinguin, K4G, and Gamivo, markets that traditionally sell games at discounted prices. While those markets have generally high ratings from customers on the website Trustpilot, it’s not always clear that keys sold through them were obtained legitimately. (GG.deals even lists the number of “risks” associated with each reseller it tracks.)
Some of those keys could have been obtained by resellers through honest methods, with owners of extra Steam keys looking to capitalize on The Day Before’s unavailability. In fact, some players of The Day Before have reported receiving free Steam keys from the developers — and even Fntastic’s CEO — by simply emailing the studio asking for a hookup. With nothing more to lose, developers have reportedly complied.
Is it worth buying The Day Before at this point, at any price? It’s unclear how much longer the game’s servers will remain online. Fntastic said in its announcement about the studio’s closure that The Day Before’s servers will “remain operational” for an undisclosed period.
Players will have a small group of people to play against, though. According to data from Steam Charts, The Day Before’s peak player count is fluctuating between 45 and 110 people two weeks after its release. A handful of streamers are still broadcasting the game on Twitch, to an audience in the dozens.
Update (Dec. 22): On the official X account for The Day Before, publisher Mytona said that multiplayer servers for the game will be turned off on Jan. 22, 2024. The Day Before will be “retired” on that day — meaning it will become unplayable. The publisher added that Valve will “proactively refund all remaining players” of The Day Before who purchased the game on Steam. Previously, owners had to request a refund.
“We extend our gratitude for the community’s support throughout the project’s life,” Mytona said. “Unfortunately, without a development team, we had no alternative choice but to officially close the project.”