Pantheon studio Visionary Realms finds firmer financial footing

Looking at Pantheon today, you almost wouldn’t know it flopped its Kickstarter way back in 2014. That’s because the team kept at it and has been raising money from investors and gamers to keep the dream alive for the past three years.

“Visionary Realms today announced that Series A funding for their upcoming Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG), Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen, is now complete,” reads this morning’s press release. “Series A funding allows the company to expand the team in almost every department and bring the game into a semi-private pre-alpha state where external testers and focus groups can begin sampling the game.” This funding round is typically venture-capital-oriented and follows seed funding like the capital the studio raised back in 2015.

In March, Visionary Realms’ Brad McQuaid told gamers the team now counts 15 people. Public testing (pre-alpha) is planned for later this year.

Source: Press release
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39 Comments on "Pantheon studio Visionary Realms finds firmer financial footing"

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Solaris
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Solaris

I’m an early backer with a lifetime sub and pre-alpha. I’ve been extremely happy with the project for the last year. This news is huge. I’m not sure I’ve seen a game rise from the ashes and become a viable option to the degree that VR has done with Pantheon. I can’t wait for the live stream tomorrow.

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Oyjord Hansen

I hope Pantheon can capture what has really been missing in MMO gaming the past few years: the creation of a new, immersive world to play in. I loved UO, DAoC, WoW, and ESO because they created new worlds for me to explore, ones with races and distinct geography and lore…. Playing those games was akin to reading a series of good books, ones that drew you in and made you daydream about them. Here’s hoping VR can pull this off.

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Swifty

Great news. Hoping for alpha later this year.

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Melissa McDonald

How can you not root for these guys? They’re trying to make the game we keep asking for. More or less. Not some mobile game. Not a MOBA. Not a PvP gankbox/sandbox/tankbox/schmankbox. A real, proper, fully-featured MMO. That’s kind of important. More and More. As the breed dies (except in Asia).

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Shiro Madoushi

You mean the game you keep asking for. Don’t speak for others.

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Kevin McCaughey

She’s speaking for me too. And, I suspect, many others.

Solaris
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Solaris

I’m on team Mel as well.

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Paul

She’s speaking for me :)

oldandgrumpy
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Kickstarter Donor
oldandgrumpy

and me :)

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Jacobin GW

I hope these guys are ready to lose their money.

SWTOR had 200M and 5 years with a highly respected developer and couldn’t create more than a month of content at release. Similar story with Wildstar.

How is an indie dev team going to create a PVE MMO that is focused on the most expensive and difficult content to create (dungeons/raids) in enough volume that players won’t complete it in a week?

If the answer is tons of monotonous grind then good luck retaining anybody. The kick-starter got 3000 backers. Even if 10x bought the game, which is the estimate used by Gordon Walton for Crowfall, its a joke.

This is completely being sold on a nostalgia that forgets spamming LF tank for 5 hours is not good game design. Online multiplayer games are released nearly every single day – traditional MMOs just can’t compete.

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Kevin McCaughey

That’s because both games you mentioned were obsessed with voice overs, smileys, cartoons. graphics etc and not content. If Pantheon concentrates on content as well as playability and classes it will do well.

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Wanda Clamshuckr

I’ve been quietly holding out hope for Pantheon.

It seems to be in line with EQ/Vanguard in a blended, mish-mashy way. Not a spiritual successor, in entirety, but perhaps a close second cousin. Definitely in the family.

Brad’s drama didn’t affect me, so I don’t hold any ill-will. I’d just like the project to launch, and take it on it’s own merits.

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Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

Nice, been hoping they’d manage to find funding from somewhere that wasn’t consumers. Hopefully this will let them kick things into higher gear, I continue to be interested in what the game is promising despite my misgivings with McQuaid and the shady early days of the project.

Hell, a few friends and I (now in our 30’s) got together recently while we were all in town, excitedly talking about what classes we’re interested in playing when it launches and the cool features etc. We’ve literally not done that shit since we were in highschool, so it was a bit of a kick.

Cramit
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Cramit

This is good to hear. Other than CU, this is really the only other MMO that I have hope for. Glad they are getting more funding and another stream is coming up tomorrow and next week! Can’t wait!

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Shiro Madoushi

It’s a miracle that this game is still around. Especially when you consider McQuaid’s history.

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Lorgarn

Is there a summary or TL;DR of McQuaid’s history somewhere, I barely know anything about him but there seems to be some ill will amongst a lot of people. I’m starting to get a bit curious as to what might’ve happened.

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agemyth 😩

Most of this “history” is unverifiable rumors. What we know about after his success with EverQuest is that Vanguard was not able to reach its milestones/deadlines with publishers like Microsoft so they let the game go. SOE swooped in to turn it into a shippable product. The game had a terrible launch and most of the industry was still focused on WoW or WoW clones.

A few months after launch SOE shut the company down and Brad McQuaid handled the letting go of ~150 employees terribly. They were asked to meet in the parking lot one day near the end of work hours and Brad pretty much told everyone they were fired right then and there.

That was bad, but when people refer to McQuaid as being a notoriously unscrupulous person they are usually referring to numerous rumors around the time of Pantheon’s unsuccessful Kickstarter. As far as I have seen, it is all unverifiable and most of it is borderline conspiracy theory stuff. One can infer that it was probably a bad time for the new company and hard decisions needed to be made. The rumors may have some truth to them, but they could have also been exaggerated by disgruntled ex-employees or just jerks online.

Things seem to be on track now enough to the point where investors, not just the pockets of hardcore fans, have kept the team afloat for years now.

ceder
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ceder

Denise Cook who posts here infrequently knows first hand, I believe, what happened with the Pantheon failed KS. The entire first set of people walked off shortly after it failed and while they were doing fund raising on the website due to how the money was handled. Google and you can read a few write ups about the fallout.

Then there was the religious nut, her husband and their homeschooled kids that were put to “work” on the project and herself in charge of it that ended up causing all manner of drama until she was asked to leave.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

yeah it was all very public. idk how one calls it “unverfied rumours” these people themselves were raging at each other in public online ffs.

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Lorgarn

This is interesting, thank you for taking the time to write that up.

Cramit
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Cramit

I’m sure you can find it. I mean, after the original kickstarter for this game, there was issue with how McQuaid spent some of the funds raised. Other than that, there has been ppl insinuating drug use and other issues with his previous games.

I’m don’t know all of it but I am sure you could look it all up.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

mcquaid hasn’t been in a leadership or authority position in the team for quite a while now.

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Crowe

Au contraire, he is the Chief Creative Officer (source: VR’s website). Definitely a leadership position but thankfully not THE leadership position. If he was CEO (or CFO), I’d definitely be thinking this was another sinking ship. Thankfully, the CCO spot plays a bit more to his strengths.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

chief creative officer is a cermonial term for the less pompous at the time title of “creative consultant” given at the time of the move.

this is like dressing up one’s resume or using executive producer as a credit. it doesn’t mean much at all.

he’s definitely got input on the game, but he’s definitely also not at the helm of anything and doesn’t have the final say on any thing anymore.

much like his time on eq where he was a public face for teh game and gets alot of undue credit but wasn’t really all that responsible for legitimate work happening on it.

Richard de Leon III
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Kickstarter Donor
Richard de Leon III

IF they decide to put some measure of decent solo-ability in the game, I’m willing to give it a try. Otherwise I’ll just have to skip out on this one. Considering Wildstar’s failure to emphasize raid style content, I hope Mcquaid takes some notes on that.

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3lfk1ng

There are already plenty of watered-down MMOs in the market that support the MASSIVELY ONLINE ability to just play solo.

For everyone else, Pantheon is that game that we have been waiting for; a game that is focused around teamwork and community.

Cramit
Reader
Cramit

You should be able to expect that some classes will be able to solo to an extent. It won’t be the best or most efficient way to play most likely but there will be some solo content, pve wise. Otherwise most of the solo stuff will be crafting and side objectives.

Also, in terms of raid content, pretty sure they have said they don’t want to do just raid content for end game, but have no link to proof, so take it with a grain of salt.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

> Wildstar’s failure to emphasize raid style content,

wat? :S

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Akufen

And here I was thinking mmo’s were about playing with other people. :P

Seriously though, it does seem like there are a lot of people (myself included at times) that enjoy playing in a fantasy world filled with other real people but don’t actually want to interact much with those people. That there is some appeal in just the presence of other beings but little appeal beyond. I probably need a psych major or something to explain why this is.

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Kevin McCaughey

It is based on a fear of intimacy. The “grouping” is a move closer than you feel comfortable with and you are more comfortable with people at arms length. There’s the psychology major part of it for you :)

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Robert Mann

Likely the “do what I want, when I want” part of entertainment coming into play. Also, it can be noted that a large segment of the population act as jerks or trolls.

I mean, if we can get beyond that social interactions in games can be awesome… it’s just hard to get beyond those two points for many people.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

a couple years ago now? on the one forum where devs talk shop talk, some posters made the prediction that this game would actually come out where eqn would not, based on some of the then recent changes and progress to the HR line up as well asn mcquaid being pushed itno more of a powerless figurehead position and consultant.

it’s kind of interesting to see how that prediction still has legs/bore fruit. >>

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SeedEve

I posted the same on the previous long gone massively.com.

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nerdy_little_thing

It’s crazy how I’ve been turned around so dramatically on Pantheon. Not long ago, I thought it was, while nice to see, playing it much too safe. Other projects seemed to be looking much more into advancing the genre, by a huge margin.

But then they were all canceled in the span of one year. I guess this is why I’m not in game design.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

early on the project looked like wishful thinking for a long time in part, but not wholly because of mcquaid being in charge of it and his history. as well as the ongoing drama directly tied to the project for a long while.

but then the current team came on and mcquaid stepped back from any kind of authority and it started to look legitimately viable.

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Kevin McCaughey

Has he really stepped back that far? Having his own uber class made for him for the recent stream makes me wonder. I think he *is* the power behind the throne.

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FreecczLaw

The number one game I am looking out for in the coming years. I look forward to a few, but this is definitely at the top of my list. Glad to see VR are getting what they need to make Pantheon happen.

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David Goodman

I think you could have done more with the alliteration.

Flopped Funding, Firm Finds Firmer Financial Footing!

.. Okay, i’m reaching, but I don’t have the wherewithal to put in a lot of effort. I don’t have any opinion on the story itself – glad they’re getting funding, but I don’t have any interest in the game one way or another.

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Robert Mann

Forging forward following funding flop, financial fulcrum for firm fulfillment found!

:)

wpDiscuz