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Pantheon: Just Brad has Fallen May 4, 2014

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen.
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Money is always an issue.

PROTF04

This link was sent to me by Kaderre and I am starting to see it pop up in a few other places, so I will add it to the tale of Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen.  The central quote in the post:

The money- It’s widely agreed upon by all parties that this project took in roughly 145 thousand dollars. A large chunk of that money, 35k, came from a single individual who promised another couple hundred thousand once he cleared it with his trust. Brad was having personal problems at the time and needed to take a cash advance from the project. He took roughly three months pay in advance which equaled roughly 38% of the funds that were left. Brad thought the rest of the money would come in, but the trust supervisor declined without even looking into the project.

-Over in the Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen forums on Rerolled.

Basically, the fear of donating to a failed Kickstarter that cannot make critical mass continues to bear itself out.  Well that and those who had a low opinion of Brad will feel vindicated in their belief.  This looks like a bullet in the head for the game at this point, what with Brad making sure he got paid first and apparently valuing himself as worth $220K a year in a company in start-up mode.

As the news cycle goes, one day up on a forum, next up on Reddit, and the next after that it will be on the gaming news sites.  Look for a fun comment thread over at Massively soon.

Comments»

1. C. T. Murphy - May 4, 2014

All I can do in response is laugh hysterically. And pour a glass of whiskey.

Cheap whiskey. I’m not Brad McQuaid.

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2. Asmiroth - May 4, 2014

I’d like to hope people see this is 2 separate issues. One that Kickstarter funding curve (or more likely a dip) is a factor in VC decision making. Second, that you need to pay special attention to fund withdrawals in an open information age.

I mean, we’d be crazy to think that Garriot, Roberts or Jacobs hasn’t been paid from the funding. That’s the ENTIRE POINT of the funding after all. You’re not paying for lines of code, you’re paying for time spent making those lines of code.

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3. Jenks - May 4, 2014

This is why I pledged (a lot of money) to the Kickstarter, but not the crowdfunding campaign they ran themselves afterwards.

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4. Wilhelm Arcturus - May 4, 2014

@Asmiroth – Umm, Jacobs specifically said he was investing his own money as well, not drawing from the fund. Likewise, I seriously doubt Lord British is taking pay from that. He could operate for years without worrying about getting any money out. Crazy would be you.

Both of those guys were in a position to get a start up off the ground. Brad went into this needing a paycheck. That is a big red flag in any start up.

If you think giving Brad 38% of the money raised was the point of the exercise, I am not sure you’ve ever worked at a start up.

@Jenks – Likewise

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5. flosch - May 4, 2014

To me, it’s not quite clear what “the funds that were left” are. Is it the whole 145k? Or is it some lesser amount?

In the end, it doesn’t matter. I fronted some money on the kickstarter because I felt charitable, but I passed on that successor campaign which just was a step too far for me.

I just wonder whether maybe they didn’t mean 38% of 145k, because… hell, I’d love to earn 220k a year. Before or after taxes doesn’t even make much difference there any more. And while I’m all for heling out people in need, that would be a pretty big need.

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6. bhagpuss - May 4, 2014

“Brad was having personal problems at the time”. It’s such a short sentence but it says so much.

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7. Jaedia - May 4, 2014

Ouch… This is very sad. Had pretty high hopes for Pantheon. Strong doubt that it would happen with those goals and so on, but hopes nonetheless. I can still hope but that is not nice news. Feel bad for the other guys involved..

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8. Brian 'Psychochild' Green - May 4, 2014

Wilhelm wrote:
Brad went into this needing a paycheck. That is a big red flag in any start up.

Not necessarily. A lot of people have the ability and drive, but not the savings to pour into a startup. Honestly, I’ve rarely been in a position where I could not be paid for my work in the startups I’ve worked with. But, I didn’t take three months of pay at once, and my wages have always been well below market wages, especially in Silicon Valley.

But, yeah, one person taking such a large chunk of available funds should not be a sign of great health for the company or project.

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9. draekas - May 4, 2014

Personal problems… like probably he needed to get stoned again.

I honestly don’t know why anyone would have trusted Brad with any money, after his Vanguard debacle.

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10. Wilhelm Arcturus - May 4, 2014

@Brian – As an employee I have never gone to work for a start up on the promise of no pay, certainly.

But I have been around for “everybody needs to take a 30% cut” and “we can’t pay anybody this month” and, finally, “we can’t pay anybody for the foreseeable future and we understand if you have to find a job elsewhere.” And during those, the founders have always been the first to not take pay at all. That’s part of leadership.

Brad isn’t an employee. He is the leader. He sets the tone.

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11. Asmiroth - May 4, 2014

@wilhelm taking a front end load for 38% of what’s in the pot is stupid. That he needs money and takes some is a separate discussion. I’m more in line with Brian on this one.

If the claims can be substantiated, then he made a 2nd massively stupid decision (after that parking lot incident) and we’re likely never to see him again. So, yay?

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12. zaphod6502 - May 4, 2014

“If the claims can be substantiated, then he made a 2nd massively stupid decision (after that parking lot incident) and we’re likely never to see him again. So, yay?”

Hopefully. I am amazed there are still people falling over themselves to offer Brad money and/or help. Not to mention the 1,632 supporters on his website who have just contributed to absolutely nothing.

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13. zaphod6502 - May 4, 2014

Here’s a great article that sums up the past history of this developer:

http://evilasahobby.com/2012/07/04/great-mmo-company-collapses-of-our-time-sigil-games-online/

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14. Stropp - May 5, 2014

Reading further into that forum thread, there was an update saying Brad took $45K as an advance, but for 5 months, not 3. Which, if true (it comes from Brad) is 9K per month or $108K a year.

Not quite as bad as a $220K annual salary, but still, for a ‘struggling’ startup taking a salary that big?

No wonder they’re having money problems.

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15. Wilhelm Arcturus - May 5, 2014

Well, if you’re spent all the money… including taking care of your own problems… you can always just ask people to work for free.

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16. Stropp - May 5, 2014

Don’t get me wrong. I think what he’s done here is quite disgusting.

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17. Brad McQuaid: Morally and Ethically Bankrupt? | Stropp's World - May 5, 2014

[…] Posted by Stropp on May 5, 2014 I came across this item this morning on Wilhelms blog, TAGN. […]

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18. SynCaine - May 5, 2014

So like… 2-3 years before this guy comes back with another scam?

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19. Genda - May 5, 2014

@Stropp – he could say the money he took was for any number of months. Hell, it was a 12 month advance for that amount. That’s not a lot of salary. It is still a big chunk of a fixed amount. And once again we see Brad spending money that was not committed yet. Or depending on it at least. That’s why I would never fund him. He’s just not a good manager.

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20. Stropp - May 6, 2014

@Genda — You’re right. I wasn’t excusing his behavior. The fact is he took money given to him for a specific purpose, for personal reasons. Personally, I don’t think it’s just because he not a good manager anymore, I think it has a lot more to do with his character, or lack thereof.

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21. zaphod6502 - May 6, 2014

The whole Pantheon situation smells fishy and feels oily. I am waiting for the next “heartfelt” Youtube interview where Brad tries to explain the latest mess he has created for himself and his associates.

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22. Doone - May 6, 2014

I have no idea how anyone trusts this man. I remember when we all first heard about Pantheon KS. I was one of the skeptics. I just don’t know how anyone who knows his work the past few years trusts this guy. I mean people have problems, not judging him for that, but abusing the KS? This is not a man to put your faith in. He has to deliver first.

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23. Isey - May 6, 2014

I told you so. Feels so right, and so wrong, to say. Always.

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