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Brad McQuaid Talks Portalarium Partnership

Garrett Fuller Posted:
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Last week Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen launched a joint rewards program with Richard Garriott’s Shroud of the Avatar over at Portalarium. The first step in this program will allow backers to get an in game cloak which can be worn in both games. This marks one of the first times we have seen MMO companies working together to promote their games, let alone in the crowd funding sphere. We sat down with Brad McQuaid to talk about the new partnership with Shroud of the Avatar as well as get some insight into what is planned for Pantheon in the coming months.

Brad first explained that he has known Richard Garriott for over ten years. They first met at E3 in 1998 back when it was held in Atlanta. Brad was there to demo EverQuest which many consider the next huge step in MMOs after Ultima Online broke the ground. Richard, having launched Ultima Online in 1997, came over to demo the game and was extremely excited to see what the team had done. Brad had always admired Richard for the Ultima series and said, “It’s amazing when you meet one of your heroes and you find they are a great person as well.” The two have stayed friendly ever since working on different MMOs over the last decade.

Brad said that the partnership with Portalarium really began with a back and forth conversation on Twitter. Both companies were using Kickstarter and moving ahead on their plans. Richard’s campaign had successfully financed. When they spoke about supporting each other’s games, they came up with the idea for shared cloaks in both. Brad said this was a great way to get the community working together. “No one plays just one game anymore, lots of player’s are in multiple games all the time,” Brad explained. It was this basis that was used to get the two companies working on ideas to cross pollinate. He said that the two games are different enough and they want players to explore both worlds. “We are starting with cloaks but we are hoping for a lot more,” Brad said.

We asked Brad what started Pantheon and how he came to begin making the game world. He said after Vanguard he had gotten a lot of emails to try something new. People really missed the old style EQ experience in MMOs as games had changed over time. It was a consistent message he always got from fans. With so many lay-offs in video games he wanted to keep his team local in the San Diego area where a lot of developers lived and already had families. “Younger developers can be more mobile, but some of us have families and want to stay where we are,” he said. He was able to put a strong team of MMO veterans together as some people were looking for work and did not want to give up their passion for games, they also wanted to stay in one place.

Brad wants to create Pantheon in a way that reflects the old fun style of EverQuest. Taking the old and bringing in all the lessons MMO designers have learned over the years. Tony Garcia, who is working on the lore of the game, and the team want to keep the fantasy element but with options open. The world is created to have different shards of reality clashing together. This gives the team plenty of creative possibilities and Brad calls the genre, Planar High Fantasy.

He wants exploration to be a critical part of the game and for players to enter at their own risk. EverQuest had a lot of areas where you had to be careful when you entered, Pantheon hopes to give players something to think about while exploring the lands. It was part of the old school MMO experience that seems to be missing now.

The team is moving at an extremely fast pace. They are doing everything to get the word out on the game. Most of the team is locked down in early development. Brad is spending his time working on the game as well as doing a ton of promotion for the Kickstarter. They have gotten a lot of support and the team continues to reach out to older gamers who miss playing that EverQuest experience. “We want to reach the older players who may not use social media as much,” he said. The team is also doing a lot of live video as they build the game and are going to let players in to see them actually building dungeons which they can explore.

Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen continues it Kickstarter campaign and is working hard to rally the MMO community. It is great to see so many veterans of video games coming together, both developers and fans to support passionate projects. Here's hoping it pays off for Pantheon's goals.  If you want to be a part of Pantheon's development, head over to the Kickstarter today and pledge.

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Garrett Fuller

Garrett Fuller / Garrett Fuller has been playing MMOs since 1997 and writing about them since 2005. He joined MMORPG.com has a volunteer writer and now handles Industry Relations for the website. He has been gaming since 1979 when his cousin showed him a copy of Dungeons and Dragons. When not spending time with his family, Garrett also Larps and plays Airsoft in his spare time.