Crowdfunded MMORPG Pantheon Rise of the Fallen is launching early access in December

    
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Who had this one on the ol’ 2024 bingo card? Pantheon is gunning for an ambitious early access launch in December – yes, that Pantheon, the one originally envisioned and crowdfunded by MMORPG luminary Brad McQuaid before his unfortunate passing. McQuaid’s studio, Visionary Realms, has kept the fire going and apparently recovered from its 2023 art and extraction mode stumbles thanks to its seasonal pre-alpha development throughout 2023.

“Pantheon has been in Testing Seasons since February 2024, which has allowed thousands of crowdfunding pledges to test the game and provide feedback prior to its Early Access release. Existing pledges will receive a copy of the Early Access release at no additional charge along with their eligible perks, which will no longer be obtainable after Early Access launch. Early Access will allow further development and refinement of the game while being played on a global scale. Visionary Realms plans to use the time in Early Access to gain more feedback and data, improve the game and its tools and add more content. […] Visionary Realms plans to release Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen Early Access by digital download […] and on third party distribution platforms. Early adopters can still pledge for game access and additional perks prior to Early Access launch in December.”

In the game’s Discord, Visionary Realms says that the early access loadout will include six full zones, 12 classes, and six playable races. “We can put out great content,” CEO Christopher Rowan writes. “We’ve nailed every single release date since December 2023. And you seem to be having a blast. It’s time to let more people in.” And let people go, too; Rowan says that the studio had to make “trade-offs” as it’s had to “pause [its] contracts with a few team members,” which certainly raises some questions about the company’s finances. But Rowan asserts the staff reductions were “necessary” to push the game forward.

“This step was not taken lightly and was taken with purpose. It was necessary to plan for costs and focus resources on releasing Early Access. It won’t be easy, but we have a clear plan. With resources focused on this goal and with your help, we are extremely confident we can do it. In fact, the work has already begun. Seasons will continue for now. Halnir Cave next season, and Necro in the following season. Then we pause Seasons and bear down on finishing the EA content for December. We will need your help testing it and spreading the word. All pledges will be free to play during Early Access – no sub costs, no additional fees, and pledges will get a head start before Early Access launches. More on Early Access coming soon.”

Source: Discord, press release
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