The Pantheon Rise of the Fallen community is in uproar this morning over apparent leaks from the game’s VIP backer section – regardless of whether they’re mad someone leaked it or mad about the content of the leaks.
The first leak landed in our inbox 10 days ago, and if I’m honest, I immediately dismissed it as fake, as the tipster claimed that Visionary Realms was deceiving the public about Pantheon’s 24-7 testing plans; it accused the studio of building a “survival, arena match-up” PvE/PvP side-game for testing purposes but neglecting to clarify to paying backers that it would be that alternate version of the game in at play in the test period. Besides, the idea of 24-7 testing involving some sort of new play mode is not entirely new information, as it was first teased in July; at the time, VR told fans it would include “a form of progression that is engaging enough to keep people playing while content is being built and added,” focused on “existing content in smaller doses.”
But now we’ve had a second leak that has seemingly been confirmed by other backers and has been acknowledged but not denied by the studio. The second missive, which was sent to us by the same leaker last night, has now also been posted on Reddit and a few other places on the internet; it’s allegedly a letter from VR’s Ben Dean to VIP backers, and this one appears to clarify that the so-called “247” test is indeed a split-off from Pantheon that the studio means to monetize in order to fund the MMO. The message is dated October 12th and promises a survey heading to these same VIP backers this week as the studio gauges feedback on its plans, which include a slowdown in Pantheon promos and content until testing for the MMO is brought back online next year.
Visionary Realms hasn’t formally confirmed or denied the leaks, but discussion about them has been allowed to continue in the game’s public Discord, in spite of the fact that it appears one of their most dedicated paying testers has broken his or her NDA.
“It will be okay. Leaks are expected,” the game’s community manager told Discord participants in response to concerned chatter about the purported VIP memo last night. “We have info coming out soon. Leaks don’t change our plans.”
Readers will recall that monetizing a secondary games and spin-off modes has been a common but seldom successful tactic for many Kickstarted MMOs, including Camelot Unchained, Ashes of Creation, and Chronicles of Elyria – even Star Citizen, if you want to count it too. Either way, if the leaks bear out, it likely won’t be long before the studio makes a move and its plans are made fully public.