Pantheon Rise of the Fallen defends its art direction shift as more performative and less generic


Followers of Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen know by now that the game has a new lick of visual paint as Visionary Realms pulled back the curtain on a new “hand-painted” art style for the PvE sandbox MMORPG. The reveal raised some mixed reaction from our readers and a number of furrowed brows from fans, who went on to point out smiling wolves or make development presumptions, and while the studio has already explained the shift before, it’s taken the latest producer’s letter for the month to further detail its rationale.

The post explains that this new art style will allow the MMORPG to be more performative on hardware, is easier and faster to develop for the studio, and will be more budget-friendly for a 30-person development studio to work on. The post gave several examples of how the change has already benefited development speed, with about four to five times more assets built over the course of August than with its more realism-based visuals.

The studio also reasons that the new style is one that gives Pantheon its own identity. “We feel our previous style felt a little too generic and appeared much like many other RPG-style games on an indie-friendly budget,” reads the letter. “With its own identity, something that can be identified as Pantheon, the recognizability and accessibility increase.”

As for the rest of the newsletter, it doesn’t date any pre-alpha testing for the month of October, but there will be a Q&A session for pre-alpha testers on Thursday, October 12th.

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