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EverQuest designer launches $800K Kickstarter for new MMO

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Brad McQuaid, a longtime designer of massively multiplayer online role-playing games such as EverQuest and Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, launched a Kickstarter campaign today for his latest title, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen.

McQuaid and his team at Visionary Realms describe Pantheon as a "group-focused MMORPG based on challenging gameplay and open-world high fantasy." The studio has already begun working on Pantheon — the Kickstarter page contains a few screenshots from a pre-alpha build of the game, and the pitch video includes some gameplay footage — and is asking for $800,000 to fund the rest of development until the initial release.

Stretch goals for the project begin at $1 million and run all the way up to $6.7 million, and include additional classes and game features. Backers will receive rewards in the form of unique in-game content and, in some cases, the ability to contribute game elements like item names and designs.

Visionary Realms is gearing Pantheon toward people who want challenging combat as well as an "intensely social game." Combat will be an active experience, with players able to block, dodge and deflect attacks, and preparing one's arsenal for particular enemies will be key.

"Hopefully you'll like what you see and find the game's design and focus both compelling and refreshing," said McQuaid, chief content officer at Visionary Realms. "That's really why Visionary Realms was formed, to re-empower both the developers and the players. You as the customer get the ultimate vote in whether we create this world and to what degree we implement our stretch goals."

Interested parties can check out the Kickstarter campaign for Pantheon here. The game is in development on Mac and Windows PC, and may be released on other platforms in the future.