Friday, July 27, 2012

The Penny Arcade Kickstarter

I don't like Penny Arcade.  So much so I refuse to link to it on this site.  I know it's popular, extremely popular, and that doesn't help me like it any better.  I've read numerous strips because it seems the go-to strip for when someone wants to post a "witty" reply dealing with video games.  The jokes are all the same and tired and often stupid.

So what do I think about their Kickstarter?  Oh, you didn't hear about this?  Well, simply put, Penny Arcade is trying to raise money (million dollars or so) and will dump it's advertising, ALL it's advertising, if they do.  They'll make it, I'm sure, but how do I feel about the entire thing?  Well, honestly, it feels backwards to me.

Most comics, the VAST majority of them in fact, do not make money.  At all.  None, zip, zero, nada.  They might get a little money from some advertisers, but not enough to do the comic full time.  If anything, many just flat out beg for cash.  So getting a steady advertising fund is a big step, one that allows them to go full time.  Penny Arcade crossed that line a LONG time ago, and became the single greatest webcomic success story of all time.

So to me, Kickstarter is going back to begging for money.  They don't NEED it, of course, they have the advertising, but it feels as if they're taking advantage of their audience.  As I said, they WILL get that money, and much of that is because their fans are kind of die hard.  And I generally think they're kind of stupid too.  That's my bias towards the comic right there, so don't take it too personally.

At the same time, I'm hearing things that might make PA better.  Specifically that various publishers have been PAYING them to make comics about their games.  This might explain why a lot of those comics annoy me, they're paid advertising.  If they hit their goal, that goes away.  PA becomes independent again, and maybe, just maybe, they'll start becoming less awful.  I don't know if that will happen, but there's a chance.

I'm not sure what to think about this overall.  I've idly speculated that PA is making fun of Kickstarter with this (look at some of their benefits), but even that doesn't seem to stick.  In the end, I just don't like PA, so this won't change my mind.  It will use it's fans to get rid of advertising, but given that most comics would KILL to get that advertising, I can't cheer for them.

Until next time kiddies.

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