Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen, the fantasy MMO RPG from EverQuest designer Brad McQuaid, is seeking development funding through Patreon.
Visionary Realms, which is made up of 20 volunteer members, is hoping to raise $1,000 per video showcasing their progress over a month of development. McQuaid said that Patreon prefers that creators have smaller goals than typical game development milestones like alpha and beta, so he chose to tie the pledges to the monthly videos for now.
The developer has already published two videos with footage of the pre-alpha version of the game, which are available on its YouTube page.
McQuaid, who is chief creative officer on the project, told us that the November video will happen regardless of the Patreon funds, but that “it sure would help the volunteers who are working so hard and have been working so hard on this project if we were able to bring in that money.”
After Pantheon failed to raise $800,000 on Kickstarter in February, the developer started accepting pledges through its website, where it has raised about $160,000 to date, according to McQuaid.
McQuaid said the plan is to have the game finished by 2017, but notes that it’s a “conservative guesstimate.”
“We have been making crazy good progress in the last couple of months, so it may be sooner, but I’d rather be conservative at this point,” he said.
First and second quarter 2015 are important for Pantheon, McQuaid said. In the first quarter, he needs to hire “quite a few” world builders and artists. In the second quarter, the game is expected to be in alpha. The developer will need funding, either from crowdfunding or investors, by then, he said, or else it will slow development down.
“Right now funding would certainly be helpful and make our volunteers a lot more financially comfortable, but we can proceed at the pace we are at right now until at least first or second quarter 2015,” McQuaid said. “On the other hand, the farther we can take the game pre-funding, the less of the company we will have to sell in preferred stock and the more creative control we would probably be able to retain.”
At the time of this writing, Patreon, which McQcuaid told us he hopes will be a long-term solution, is earning the team $17 per video. Not nearly enough yet to fund a game in a massive genre known for development costs of $150 million or more.