Forums » General Pantheon Discussion

Regarding the Shuttering of Chronicles of Elyria

    • 218 posts
    March 26, 2020 10:49 PM PDT

    Hey everyone,

    Earlier today a thread regarding the news of Chronicles of Elyria's cancellation was deleted. After discussing it with our Community Manager Ben Walters, I understand the reasons behind that action.

    I'm also aware that news of an indie, crowd-funded studio suddenly shuttering is troubling. It's good to have a place to process this event and the thoughts it generates as a community, even if it includes negativity. So please use this thread to pick that discussion back up.

    • Moderator
    • 8798 posts
    March 26, 2020 11:00 PM PDT

    A friendly reminder to stay on topic, keep it constructive and leave personal feelings aside:

    https://www.pantheonmmo.com/content/forums/topic/1595/pantheon-community-guidelines

    Any comments just trashing game companies, including ours, will be removed, as will any personal attacks or claims made without supporting evidence.

    Let's keep it mature and respectable please guys.

    • 487 posts
    March 27, 2020 1:12 AM PDT

    I thought the thread would of been a great spot for you guys to come out and share some of your own perspective on where you are.

    Given the temperature of the world, and how tight everyone's finances are and will be - news such as this should be addressed - at least I know I would if I was in your guys' shoes. As it stands, keep in mind this is my opinion from the outside - the duration between PA cycles, the lack of publisher(s), the inconsistency in all aspects of information related to the game, and the change in direction (even if not directly spoken, it is largely noticed) towards art and beautification of the game - leads me to be very weary of this project.

    I will leave with the words of my wife, "You aren't spending any more damn money on that game. It isn't coming out, ever." This coming shortly after telling her the fate of CoE's demise and how they had raised over $8 Million dollars.


    This post was edited by Kilsin at April 2, 2020 1:45 PM PDT
    • 1707 posts
    March 27, 2020 4:02 AM PDT

    I don't think it helps to discuss CoE at all. I don't feel it has more than a passing relevence. I looked at CoE a few times and did not feel moved to support them at all. Didn't look like my kind of thing, but also, I thought it was a flawed idea in some ways.

    I have barely the slightest worry regarding VR's aims and business. I was happy to support them and still am. The idea was sound and solid and still is. I have no reason to believe they are doing anything but going from strength to strength as they say they are and seem to be.

    If VR was in trouble the last thing they should do is make it public - that has a way of precipitating further trouble and a downward spiral. If they are not in trouble, they should just keep on keeping on.

    No company is immune from problems, but they don't all issue statements saying they are fine every time similar businesses fail.

    VR should address it if they feel they want to, but if they start trying to address every single pessimistic, doom-and-gloom post flying around these days, they would have to employ another person to do that all day. Unfortunately. Also it would begin to look a little... over-defensive... and then people would no doubt post conspiracy theories like VR constantly talking about their being ok means they must be worried...

    I wish people would realise that sometimes just the rumour of problems is damaging. Bringing this up serves no purpose and has the potential to be damaging.

    If you're worried about the future of VR and Pantheon, one way to help is to not post theories that might put off investers unnecessarily.

    P.S. Before people start with the "White Knight" comments, if you're a regular here, you know I do not automatically support everything VR says - I am very critical in some areas - but I try to do so in a reasonable and positive way. There is just no positive aspect to this kind of "CoE failed, so maybe Pantheon will" speculative worrying.

    • 1785 posts
    March 27, 2020 4:18 AM PDT

    I absolutely agree with the top dog just above this post.

    • 1127 posts
    March 27, 2020 4:20 AM PDT

    Kudos for reopening a thread on CoE.  It is a tough subject that reflects badly on the Indy game industry in general and will shake pledger confidence even further.  Being willing to let us talk about it is both brave and upholds one of the reasons I trust VR.  The games that have censored any negative threads are likely hiding something and do not respect their communities opinions.

    Disposalist is also right to a certain extent though.  Picking over why one individual company failed is not likely to yield much.  Its been awhile since my econ class but something like 7 out of 10 business fail in their first year and 9 out of 10 by year 5.  This could really just be another one of these situations.

    What I think is worth talking about and I feel was really REALLY shady on CoEs part was that they just last week ran the Settlers of Elyria event where you could purchase ownership rights to territories for $100s.  Everyone who just dropped large amounts of cash on the political aspect of what the game was going to be just threw their money in the trash.  CoE knew it was out of cash without enough product to get a publisher to buy in.  Running such a campaign then immediately shuttering without returning the money is at best unethical and at worst money laundering.

    I guess all I really ask of VR is that if you come up against a wall and need to do a cash drive make it similar to a Kickstarter where if you don’t reach your goal then return all the drive money.  You don’t need to tell us before hand because that can greatly effect the success of the drive but look out for us when we try and continue to support the development while being mostly blind to the development.

    • 680 posts
    March 27, 2020 7:56 AM PDT

    My biggest disappointment in this thread is to see Kilsin still hasn't cracked 9,000 posts.   We need to throw a party on that momentous occasion.

    • 147 posts
    March 27, 2020 9:14 AM PDT
    The fact that one crowd-funded MMO failed doesn't mean Pantheon is is in any danger and I'm getting tired of the Dunning-Kruger MMO development "experts" telling us the sky is falling.

    Also, the constant demands by some vocal pessimists that VR frequently tell us that they aren't going broke is counterproductive. When something isn't true, repeated public denials only serves to make people think it is. Imagine if Taco Bell sent out weekly press releases stating that eating their food won't give you diarrhea. Would you feel more confident eating there?
    • 249 posts
    March 27, 2020 9:43 AM PDT

     Well really COE failing isn't just "one" but the latest. But when it comes to crowdfunding games it's pretty simple.

     

     Don't spend more then you can afford to lose.

     

    I followed it, I put money into it. Not happy to lose it but I understood the risk going in.

    • 433 posts
    March 27, 2020 11:47 AM PDT

    DracoKalen said:

     Well really COE failing isn't just "one" but the latest. But when it comes to crowdfunding games it's pretty simple.

     

     Don't spend more then you can afford to lose.

     

    I followed it, I put money into it. Not happy to lose it but I understood the risk going in.

    ^ This...exactly.

    • 57 posts
    March 27, 2020 2:21 PM PDT

    Let's first start off with something I think we can all agree on. Soulbound Studios is it's own company, with it's own leadership, it's own problems, making a game completely different from VR and Pantheon. However, to say that what happened to CoE has no relevance to Pantheon is foolhardy at best. So while there are things about the two that can be wildly different and have no bearing on one another, there are also some very real correlations and similar issues that an indie company that's crowdfunded, trying to make a game, especially with the magnitude and scope of an MMO has to deal with. That's the cold hard truth. There are definitely things that can be taken away and learned from this situation. I think Joppa opening this thread back up is a nod to that.

    As much as some of you get tired of hearing the “negative” posts, we're just as tired of having you try and suppress our opinions. I'll clue you in on something, it's ok to disagree. You don't have to force someone into your way of thinking. Me posting this is just my opinion, I'm not forcing you to agree with it. Telling me it does no good is you trying to talk down someone else's opinion. Joppa has said that he likes ALL feedback, even the negative. Believe it or not, there is good that come from it. Granted sometimes how it's taken is a product of the delivery, but the premise that saying anything negative is detrimental is false.

    I don't think links are allowed, but there's a relevant video that was posted on YouTube by Kira TV that goes over the CoE debacle. I call it a debacle because they ran a crowdfunded Settlers of Elyria event 5 days before closing shop. Do you think any of the people who donated money to that event had any clue it was closing in a couple days? Of course not, the company was telling them everything was fine. So while VR might not be doing the same thing, it's fair for supporters to feel some trepidation with how long things are taking. The first couple minutes of the video goes over things that could be applied to VR and towards the end there is a good topic on the essence of publicly traded companies and crowdfunding that I found interesting. While he does lay into SBS to a degree, his message was still that crowdfunding is needed in this genre for the games we want to be made like MMOs because AAA companies have been shying away from them and I'd agree to an extent. However, there are some very real concerns that come with crowdfunding and it's ok that we express them. I've seen plenty of games shuttered and companies closed out of the blue while being told the whole time things are fine. I'm not saying VR is doing this in any manner, shape or form, but that's what companies do.

    I'm still very much a supporter of VR and Pantheon in that I want to see the game completed and for it to do well. I've been looking for something to scratch that EQ type itch for almost two decades now. However, I'd classify my current feeling with things recently as one of discontent. To quote Thomas Edison "Restlessness is discontent and discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure." Some of you may be completely satisfied with how things are, but some of us are not. That's not to say we are fear-mongering or doom-saying though.

     

    • 34 posts
    March 28, 2020 9:46 AM PDT

    It's not an  uncommon event with crowd funded games and/or indie studios.  Pantheon is my last hope for me and the type of MMO I'm drawn to. I sincerely hope they are honest with the community if something similar is about to happen with VR.  I've pledged what I can at this time, but when I am able I will do so again.  Maybe I'm naive but I feel VR is a trustworthy organization and will do what they can to do right by their community.

     

    • 1605 posts
    March 28, 2020 12:05 PM PDT

    So... economics is hard.  Especially with what's going on in the world right now.  As an example, the values of my various investment accounts have dropped more than 25% from where they were a few months ago - not just one of them, but nearly ALL of them.  There's a reason that you keep reading about financial markets crashing.

    In this sense, a game that gets most/all of its funding from crowdfunding is actually in a better position than one that's getting that money from actual investors.  Investors can pull out, and take their money with them.  Crowdfunded pledges are money in the bank, even if new pledges slow down.  To me, what happened to CoE shows just how unstable it can be to rely on money that you don't physically have in order to make something.

    I don't know the details of Pantheon's financials, but I don't think they are operating under the same risks, as I *think* that more of their financial base was crowdfunded.  Certainly there are some risks, and that's a cause for concern.  But let's be honest - no project is ever 100% risk free.

    From where I sit, I am still fairly confident that Pantheon will get finished and launched in some form.  I am far less confident in whether that final form will be one that I will be willing to purchase a subscription for.  I say this candidly and in the interest of transparency.  My reasons have nothing to do with what happened to CoE, and far more to do with things like the state of the website and the amount and type of information that has been released to the community over the past 18 months.  I remain deeply concerned about the non-combat and "world" side of the title, as well as the scope and scale of content that's envisioned vs. the size of the team.  By no means have I given up on Pantheon, but I really hope that the team can put some of my fears and everyone else's to rest over the next few months.  By doing that not only will we all feel more confident that we've pledged to the right team, but it will also help us spread that confidence to others that have not yet pledged support for Pantheon.


    This post was edited by Nephele at March 28, 2020 1:06 PM PDT
    • 217 posts
    March 28, 2020 1:03 PM PDT

    In times like these only the strong will survive. Less competition for VR serves benefits on many fronts. First, less competition means more eyeballs will be focused on this project and it could be that shining city on the hill that people rally behind. Second, I'm sure there were talented employees that CoE had working on it that hopefully could be picked up by VR and actually speed up production (although right now, making wise fiscal business decisions is paramount).

    As others have already stated, it doesn't do any good speculating as to what VR's financial position is. They have told us time and time again that things are fine. To continue saying so would only cause concern as to why they have to continue saying it. We just have to hope that things will move forward full steam ahead. Hopefully we get some good news in the very near future that the next round of pre-alpha is right around the corner.

    Be safe all and wash your hands!

    • 1941 posts
    March 28, 2020 3:22 PM PDT

    randomrob82 said:

    They have told us time and time again that things are fine.

    The backers of CoE heard the exact same thing up to the very day the company fired everyone and stopped development.  Read that CoE announcement and you'll see that the real announcement of them shutting down came at the end of a long page of text about all the stuff they were working on.  As if it was some afterthought.

    There are parallels (too many) between Soulbound Studios and Visionary Realms and those are of huge concern to me.  I treat VR as if it is a publicly traded company and I'm a shareholder. I gave them my money to create a product, after all. If VR were publically traded, I could sell the stock if I wasn't happy with their progress but, luckily for VR, I cannot do that. I also can't go to a shareholders meeting and address the company directly, demanding they answer my questions.

    If a publisher had put in money they too would have demands of VR, requiring timely updates on progress and would not settle for oft-missed promises.  VR would have to answer to them. I feel VR needs to answer to us just the same.

    If it were not for everyone who gave VR money, they could very well be sitting in the unemployment line or sitting in their basements dreaming of past glory.

    • 487 posts
    March 28, 2020 3:33 PM PDT
    Reminds me of Austin Powers - "Who does number two work for!?!?"

    We honestly just want consistency ("base stat reveals coming after the turn of the year" - "we plan to do all classes as sort of an exposè") and transparency ("we can't talk about that yet", "can't spill those beans quite yet") in the deveopment of our one last hope (for many of us) of a great MMO. Obviously we all want "great success," however, still being so behind the curtain after so many years of deveopment really leaves the taste of sour milk in the mouths of those that have been backers/supporters/cheerleaders for years.
    • 217 posts
    March 28, 2020 6:11 PM PDT

    Vandraad said:

    randomrob82 said:

    They have told us time and time again that things are fine.

    The backers of CoE heard the exact same thing up to the very day the company fired everyone and stopped development.  Read that CoE announcement and you'll see that the real announcement of them shutting down came at the end of a long page of text about all the stuff they were working on.  As if it was some afterthought.

    There are parallels (too many) between Soulbound Studios and Visionary Realms and those are of huge concern to me.  I treat VR as if it is a publicly traded company and I'm a shareholder. I gave them my money to create a product, after all. If VR were publically traded, I could sell the stock if I wasn't happy with their progress but, luckily for VR, I cannot do that. I also can't go to a shareholders meeting and address the company directly, demanding they answer my questions.

    If a publisher had put in money they too would have demands of VR, requiring timely updates on progress and would not settle for oft-missed promises.  VR would have to answer to them. I feel VR needs to answer to us just the same.

    If it were not for everyone who gave VR money, they could very well be sitting in the unemployment line or sitting in their basements dreaming of past glory.

    This is pretty silly, no?

    VR saying that things are fine concerns you?

    Would you feel more assured about their success then if they said nothing?

    Would you feel more assured about their success if they said they were in economic trouble?

    Those are really the only options. Obviously no one can predict the future. We have all pledged to help make this a reality and all we can do is hope for the best. It is healthy to take everything you hear with a grain of salt, but at the end of the day it's best to be cautiously optimistic. To conclude that things are bad because they say things are good is the thought process of pessimist, and it serves no other purpose than to bum everyone else out. I have faith in VR. We all should. Otherwise, why post?

    • 406 posts
    March 29, 2020 9:20 AM PDT

    Always sad to hear about crowdfunding failures.  I think the most concerning thing about what happened was that CoE had offers from publishers, turned them down to maintain control, and then as time went on and development was slow, those offers disappeared and when they needed a publisher they couldn't get one.  Also interesting to note that they tried the exact same route Pantheon is going, which is to try and create a representative demo and then pitch that to potential investors and/or publishers.  Unfortunately for CoE, their demo project was very lackluster.

     

    VR is doing this exact same approach with Pantheon, identical to the Tee.  We know VR has turned down early publisher offers to maintain control, we know development has been very slow, and we know they are putting all their chips into this Project Faerthale demo to attract major investment and/or publishers to get the project enough fundning to finish.  It's a sink or swim concept, do or die.  It's not necessarily the wrong approach, it's quite possibly the only approach for a crowd-funded MMO that needs 50-100 million in investment.  I hope Pantheon succeeds.  Everything depends on PF attracting significant investors, the eggs are in that basket, it's the gambit.  Chronicles of Elyria tried the same gambit, even with their initial 10 million start up capital, and it failed.  Nothing is a sure thing, we're all just hoping for the best here.

    • 39 posts
    March 29, 2020 10:08 PM PDT

    Knowing this post changes nobodies mind, I still feel the need to put this out there cause I’m kind of irritated.  I’ve been a lurker pretty much since the failing of the Kickstarter as you can tell by the low post count.  The reason I lurk and don’t post much is because this isn’t my game.  This is VR’s game.  I want to be part of the world they build. Throwing out an idea here or there is all well and good, but I also know I’m not super creative and really wouldn’t come up with anything earth shattering to contribute.

    If I had to guess, I followed this project for 2ish years before I decided to gamble with my money and pledge to the game.  I did so knowing that there was a strong possibility that my money would just poof and be gone.  But I knew who was behind the project and I thought if anyone could create a game that I would want to spend 100s if not 1000s of hours in, it would be VR. If they finish it.  The problem is nobody knows how big an ‘if’ that is. Maybe not even everyone at VR knows.  All we can do is have faith that what they are telling us is accurate. And that if it starts to go sideways, then they would ‘do the right thing’ and let us know.

    The problem is there are so many people trying to make them prove that they are fine.  The reality of it is VR owes us nothing other than what we bought with our pledges and that only happens if they finish the game and it launches.  Other than that, nothing.  Granted it’d be foolish not to give out information to the people that have given them money but hey, there is a first time for everything.

    In summation: I did my research on VR and what they wanted to accomplish. I had some money that I was willing to gamble on them knowing that there was a good possibility that the outcome would be less than desirable. I also appreciate the information that they are willing to provide to us with regards to the progress they are making. Quite frankly, I have more important stuff to worry about even outside the beer virus.  I just want VR to make the game they want to make and I’ll happily run around in it once/if they finish it.

    • 37 posts
    March 30, 2020 3:09 PM PDT

    There doesn't be a clear reason as to the shuttering of CoE that I can find, but that isn't the point. The point is that it will have a profound effect on the general perception of Kickstarter/Indie MMOs. Most people that have been around for a while will remain firm in their support, some might become worried, but the newcomers may find it more difficult to continue their support, financial or otherwise. And this extends beyond Pantheon, as there are a small handful of other MMOs in development at the moment as well. All I can say is that we, as a community, need to take any info about shuttered MMOs with a grain of salt and distinguish the issues of those games from Pantheon.

    • 406 posts
    March 31, 2020 10:44 AM PDT

    uneko said:

    There doesn't be a clear reason as to the shuttering of CoE that I can find, but that isn't the point. The point is that it will have a profound effect on the general perception of Kickstarter/Indie MMOs. Most people that have been around for a while will remain firm in their support, some might become worried, but the newcomers may find it more difficult to continue their support, financial or otherwise. And this extends beyond Pantheon, as there are a small handful of other MMOs in development at the moment as well. All I can say is that we, as a community, need to take any info about shuttered MMOs with a grain of salt and distinguish the issues of those games from Pantheon.

     

    Developer lays it out pretty clearly on their site.  Scroll down to "Into the Abyss" subsection.

    https://chroniclesofelyria.com/news/34919/State-of-Elyria-Into-the-Abyss

    • 85 posts
    March 31, 2020 2:03 PM PDT

    Anyone who has been around the MMO community as long as I have knew this game was not going to come out. However, what was surprising was how they treated their backers with the utmost of disrespect.

    They should be ashamed. 

    If I could get all of my pledged money back from VISIONIARY Realms I would. Unfortunately that is not an option. So I hope that this game, Pantheon Rise of the Fallen does succeed. Otherwise "the death of a game" will rear it's head yet again.

     

       ~ CaffeineInjected ~

    • 93 posts
    April 2, 2020 5:40 AM PDT
    Here's an interesting video reading CoE. Pantheon is also mentioned briefly at the end.
    https://youtu.be/bfiibVaEMeY
    • 1707 posts
    April 3, 2020 6:37 AM PDT

    I hadn't been following it closely, but have looked into it a bit now. Wow. To compare almost anything about CoE and Soulbound Studios to Pantheon and Visionary Realms is just laughable.

    What SS did was pretty much a protracted smoke-and-mirrors show culminating in a fraud.

    To pick just one recent aspect, their pre-alpha, it consisted of, in one YouTuber's words, a "shitty parcours tech demo that looks nothing like the game they advertised and has no MMO features".

    The Pantheon pre-alpha has shown a fully playable group MMO. Not feature complete or content complete, but already enjoyable as an actual multi-player RPG.

    I don't want to break NDA, but we've seen it in so many streams, that I will risk saying what I experienced was actually engrossing and fun enough for many hours to often forget I was supposed to be testing (sorry!) Already a good game (and that's pre Project Farthaele).

    The CoE plan was always to get a publisher, but they didn't tell their backers that and, unsurprisingly given the lack of anything to show, they couldn't get a publisher and had to close.

    Again, VR is in nothing like this situation.

    Being worried about VR and the industry as a whole because of CoE and SS is like being worried about your financial advisor and their industry because you heard about someone else's advisor turning out to be a conman and embezzling their money.

    Maybe I've got it wrong, but if so, so have a lot of people much more knowledgeable about it than me.

    Also, as I keep saying - and am getting criticised for *shrug* I guess I'm just a White Knight fanboi - worrying about it and producing negative, speculative posts will achieve *nothing* but maybe putting off potential backers. Nothing.

    P.S. The vid @Geoffrey links above, from TheLazyPeon, seems to cover the issue well.

    If anything, the CoE SS debacle makes me feel *more* confident about Pantheon and VR, because it has none of the symptoms and tells that CoE and it's developers did.

    P.P.S. I feel bad for anyone who backed CoE. *hugs*


    This post was edited by disposalist at April 3, 2020 6:53 AM PDT
    • 107 posts
    April 3, 2020 7:04 AM PDT

    I appreciate the above post by Disposalist