Yesterday, we covered turmoil in the Pantheon Rise of the Fallen community stemming from multiple leaks from the game’s VIP backer Discord. The leaker had posted purported messages from Visionary Realms’ Ben Dean suggesting that the studio is pivoting to a “survival, arena match-up” side-game for testing purposes dubbed 247. The rumored mode would be monetized to fund the Pantheon MMO, development and testing for which would apparently be slowed until next year.
Visionary Realms didn’t initially confirm the leaks; its community manager told fans that “leaks are expected” and that “leaks don’t change [their] plans.” But the fan feedback over the rumors hasn’t been kind, and as of this morning, the studio addressed the uproar, appearing to confirm the leaked information.
“In regards to some posts you may have seen this week, we would like to offer some clarity,” Dean wrote in the public Discord. “The 247 play mode began life as a testing tool. We soon saw its potential to stand on its own feet. We believe the marriage between MMO and Extraction is something that will speak to a much larger audience than we have reached to date and we are exploring that opportunity. This is not a cancellation of Pantheon, as Pantheon and 247 are symbiotic and developed in tandem. If we choose to monetize 247 and it is successful, it could potentially allow Pantheon to launch much sooner than currently projected. We will outline 247 and what it means to our players in our Producer’s Letter Thursday, Oct. 26.”
As we noted yesterday, this is quite similar to two-game approaches deployed – unsuccessfully – by multiple other crowdfunded MMOs, including Camelot Unchained, Ashes of Creation, and Chronicles of Elyria, which is surely why backers have responded with skepticism and outrage just as with those earlier titles (none of which has actually launched).