Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen’s financials under scrutiny from community6 May 2014
All is not well in the community of Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen, former Everquest and Vanguard man Brad McQuaid’s proposed MMO. After an unsuccessful attempt to raise $800,000 USD on Kickstarter, McQuaid took the crowdfunding to Pantheon’s own website and raised a self-reported $148,000 USD.
However, pertinent questions are being raised about how those funds have been used. Piecing together information from the ReRolled forums, Reddit and a piece on SegmentNext, it appears McQuaid took a substantial portion of the $148,000 USD as a three month salary advance. A since-removed post on the Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen Facebook page (helpfully screen-capped for posterity) suggests this figure was around $45,000 USD; a staggering 33% of the total raised for the supposed funding of an MMO.
That same Facebook posting has a reply from the wife of a now departed developer on the Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen project (Tony Garcia) in which she states “I can’t even begin to tell you how disgusted I am with how the money was managed for this project.”
User Frenzic over at ReRolled says he has interviewed Brad McQuaid on two occasions and was informed that “roughly 38% of the funds that were left” of the $148,000 USD went towards McQuaid’s advance salary.
Around $35,000 USD of that $148,000 USD is said to have come from one individual, who (McQuaid claims in the interview) had planned to offer “another couple hundred thousand” when it was cleared with his trust. The trust supervisor “declined without even looking into the project.” Without more information it’s difficult to say what the financial and tax implications of such an arrangement may have been, but it appears to have fallen through in any case.
This is probably for the best, as at a rate of $45,000 USD for three months work McQuaid’s annual salary would have been around $180,000 USD. For development of an MMO that to date had raised a total of $148,000 USD. Something about that budget doesn’t quite work.
Effectively, then, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen is running out of money from an already small pot, and McQuaid appears to have diverted a sizeable portion of the cash raised to his own personal expenses. In case you were considering donating to this project now or in the future, my advice would be this: don’t.