Stray claws its way into the top spot on Steam wishlists, taking over The Day Before

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Stray has taken over The Day Before as the most wishlisted game on Steam, following on from controversy involving the latter using unpaid volunteers.

Early last month, BlueTwelve Studio announced that there was finally a release date for the highly anticipated cyberpunk cat game. And as reported by PCGamesN, highly anticipated really isn’t an understatement, as Stray recently hit the most wishlisted spot on Steam.

Stray wasn’t particularly far behind anyway, only sitting in second place prior to this week, but now it’s essentially the most popular upcoming PC title. We can’t exactly blame anyone either, as in a recent hands-off preview, Stray looks like it’s shaping up to be something pretty special.

Other than the fact that people are simply excited for Stray, it’s possible that there’s another reason it managed to take over The Day Before. Developed by Fntastic, an “all-remote” developer with headquarters in Singapore, The Day Before looks like a cross between The Division and Day Z.

The Day Before also recently saw a delay into 2023, due to development being switched over to Unreal Engine 5. But more controversially, as reported by Eurogamer, Fntastic appears to be using unpaid volunteers to help develop The Day Before.

In an odd statement provided to Eurogamer, Fnstastic explained “the word ‘volunteer’ comes from the Latin word ‘voluntarius’, meaning ‘willing’ or ‘of one’s own choice.” It went on to explain that there are two types of volunteers, “full-time internal volunteers (employees)” from all over the world, and “external US and worldwide volunteers (supporters) who help with resting and reviewing” Fntastic’s products.

Fntastic also explained that it hired a localisation team last year, Propnight, but claimed “the result of their work was not so perfect.” And in turn, “most of it had to be redone with the help of our enthusiastic volunteers.”

Localisation is often not seen as actual game development (spoiler alert: it is), so it sucks to see Fntastic take this stance on the matter. Hopefully it decides to not use unpaid labour going forward.

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