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Op Ed

GameFront - Why I'm Not Okay with the Penny Arcade Kickstarter.
But Penny Arcade doesn't need money from Kickstarter, or to crowdsource new projects. It simply would prefer to remove ads from its site for one year, at the cost of a huge amount of money. But itís choosing to gather that money not through usual business channels, but through Kickstarter ó and in a way, itís taking advantage of the Kickstarter culture and drawing away users who would potentially give funds to more needy projects.

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54. Re: Op Ed Jul 26, 2012, 21:15 Sepharo
 
I haven't actually contributed anything to their kickstarter and I have similar qualms about the appropriateness of their use of it. I just can't stand seeing every other post on this topic (on this board and others) bring up adblock... that's totally missing the point. My other annoyance is that people think PA has the money to do this otherwise.

Verno wrote on Jul 26, 2012, 10:32:
I can think of several places they could get money given that they already run a successful business and two world renowned international expos

So let's hear 'em...
 
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53. Re: Op Ed Jul 26, 2012, 14:41 Verno
 
but I guess Kickstarter figures it's 10 million viewers worth of advertisement, so they're turning a blind eye.

I like PA but it also has a notoriously ornery user base who will harass people/companies they deem to be opponents of them. It's nearly as bad as when reddit gets organized about an issue. I don't doubt the negative publicity is a factor in the decision making too.
 
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52. Re: Op Ed Jul 26, 2012, 13:38 Creston
 
Verno wrote on Jul 25, 2012, 13:00:
Ugh, I wish people would stop bitching at what goes on Kickstarter and what doesn't. The crowd in general decides what gets funded and what doesn't

I don't think that's fair at all. For example we all frequently complain about other people doing things in the videogame market despite our ability to just ignore them and exercise our personal preferences and purchase rights. I know you're a part of that as much as the rest of us too

This isn't a project, it's funding a well established, ongoing business for an indefinite period of time with no actual guidelines or standards. So yeah obviously I'm going to exercise my rights not to fund it but I'm also going to voice my displeasure that they're allowing it on there despite all of those things.

But that's kind of comparing apples to oranges. The whole idea behind Kickstarter is that a majority process decides whether something gets money or not. There's little to no comparison with the general game industry where a publisher decides that project A gets money, and it gets wasted. We've never had a say in that whatsoever, beyond the indirect manipulation of "If we buy 10 million copies of Game A, it's bound to get a sequel."

Do I think PA's could have just as easily done this another way? Yeah, I do. But I'm not going to go wag a moralizing finger at them and say that they're not allowed to try to do it through Kickstarter. I don't agree with it, so I don't give them any money. I'm not going to pre-emptively try to prohibit things like this from going ON Kickstarter.

Edit:
We know there are a lot of great projects that fall outside of our scope, but Kickstarter is not a place for soliciting donations to causes, charity projects, or general business expenses. Learn more about our project guidelines.

That's very interesting, actually. I had no idea that was in their ToS. I'm amazed they allowed PA on there, but I guess Kickstarter figures it's 10 million viewers worth of advertisement, so they're turning a blind eye.

Another thing which I'm less happy about than the PA thing is things like the Defense Grid 2 kickstarter. They put the KS at 250K, but the real thing I want, an actual DG2, is at one million. So if I donate, and they get 350K, and they take my money, but I don't get what I want, which is the sequel. It's kind of violating the entire idea behind it. But again, hey, if KS allows it, then they can go ahead and do it. I'm just not going to fund it until it reaches 999K (which seems highly unlikely, as they're just over 150K with 19 days left.)

Creston

This comment was edited on Jul 26, 2012, 13:44.
 
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51. Re: Op Ed Jul 26, 2012, 10:32 Verno
 
Sepharo wrote on Jul 26, 2012, 09:56:
They don't have a spare $350,000 sitting around. They're already working at capacity and have a store that sells everything it ought to sell. If they decide their business would be better if they didn't have to deal with ads where should they get the money from? They previously survived on reader donations... could that work again? Is there a site that could facilitate that with a system for rewarding those who donate higher amounts?

I can think of several places they could get money given that they already run a successful business and two world renowned international expos but I'm sure the answer will be "well they wanna do it this way to interact with their fans directly!" or something. Kickstarter (even the name implies startups btw) has been pretty careful to avoid using the word donation in relation to the service. In fact the whole thing is a bit confusing because this sort of thing seems outside the scope of the service:

We know there are a lot of great projects that fall outside of our scope, but Kickstarter is not a place for soliciting donations to causes, charity projects, or general business expenses. Learn more about our project guidelines.

But whatever, Kickstarter has decided to allow it so the rest of us will just have to live with that. I thought it was all about new ideas, interesting projects that couldn't obtain funds through traditional methods and so on. Maybe that's my bad for misinterpreting the intent, if so then fair enough. I likely will just not fund anything through Kickstarter in the future and instead opt to support projects directly.

This comment was edited on Jul 26, 2012, 10:41.
 
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50. Re: Op Ed Jul 26, 2012, 09:56 Sepharo
 
RollinThundr wrote on Jul 26, 2012, 09:50:
Sepharo wrote on Jul 25, 2012, 20:50:
"Der der adblock..."

It's not just about removing the ads from the page it's about removing the need for ads from the business. They have two employees who do nothing but work on the ads. Because of the ads they need people to come to the actual site, this prevents them from doing things like putting the strip in the RSS feed.

This really isn't much different from a developer deciding they'd rather be funded by their fans than a publisher. "Oh then they should make a subscription system, or their own donation page..." but why? Kickstarter already exists and has the infrastructure and framework to handle this with rewards.

You make it sound like they're this poor little indy startup with no means.

They don't have a spare $350,000 sitting around. They're already working at capacity and have a store that sells everything it ought to sell. If they decide their business would be better if they didn't have to deal with ads where should they get the money from? They previously survived on reader donations... could that work again? Is there a site that could facilitate that with a system for rewarding those who donate higher amounts?
 
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49. Re: Op Ed Jul 26, 2012, 09:50 RollinThundr
 
Sepharo wrote on Jul 25, 2012, 20:50:
"Der der adblock..."

It's not just about removing the ads from the page it's about removing the need for ads from the business. They have two employees who do nothing but work on the ads. Because of the ads they need people to come to the actual site, this prevents them from doing things like putting the strip in the RSS feed.

This really isn't much different from a developer deciding they'd rather be funded by their fans than a publisher. "Oh then they should make a subscription system, or their own donation page..." but why? Kickstarter already exists and has the infrastructure and framework to handle this with rewards.

You make it sound like they're this poor little indy startup with no means. These guys have done quite alright for themselves on the back of an industry that they do nothing more than make fun of more often then not, while commissioning themselves out to the very publishers they poke fun at.

Personally I don't find them funny but hey that's not the question here. Hope it comes back to bite them in the ass.
 
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48. Re: Op Ed Jul 26, 2012, 09:38 AlexSledge
 
Without a doubt Penny Arcade has lost me as a fan by doing this, just as Blue would if he went down this route.

If anything Penny Arcade should have taken on double the ads in order to contribute themselves more money into needy independent game development projects on kickstarter, instead they're undermining the ecosystem that has given rise to their very existence.

Evil in action? No, just poorly thought out decision making on their part.
 
I should be coding.
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47. Re: Op Ed Jul 25, 2012, 22:32 Dades
 
Dev wrote on Jul 25, 2012, 04:06:
Yes, but removing ads for a year? Will that be a far enough proximity? Maybe from direct advertisers, but for instance, writing a critical piece on SW:TOR would still probably kill their chance of doing official SW stuff, even a year later.

I don't like this KS, but I think people should be free to back WTFever they want, like Prez said.

What bugs me is that unlike most Kickstarter projects these guys have access to money already. I would rather Kickstarter be reserved for actual projects that are new without previous funding. Many Kickstarter projects have enough trouble getting promotion and funding as it is without traditional market forces moving in. For PA at least this is a risk that can harm their reputation both with their fans and advertisers. They have a big enough fan base and enough community support to get away with this once but they might regret it in a year or two if people get tired of funding them.
 
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46. Re: Op Ed Jul 25, 2012, 20:50 Sepharo
 
"Der der adblock..."

It's not just about removing the ads from the page it's about removing the need for ads from the business. They have two employees who do nothing but work on the ads. Because of the ads they need people to come to the actual site, this prevents them from doing things like putting the strip in the RSS feed.

This really isn't much different from a developer deciding they'd rather be funded by their fans than a publisher. "Oh then they should make a subscription system, or their own donation page..." but why? Kickstarter already exists and has the infrastructure and framework to handle this with rewards.
 
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45. Re: Op Ed Jul 25, 2012, 19:54 Prez
 
You're just projecting, I didn't say anything about mainstream and I have no idea where the hippy comment originates. By your criteria of alternate funding, Justin Bieber can make a Kickstarter project for his next album to throw off the shackles of his corporate overlords. NY Times? Heh, why not The New York Times Kickstarter Edition? They're certainly entitled to try but people are going to call bullshit on things that seem like they're taking advantage of a situation.

Actually, I don't see anything wrong with the scenarios you laid out. Maybe Bieber blew all of his money on hooker's and blow but realized he wants to sing opera instead but his label won't fund it because it lacks the mass appeal they were looking for when they signed him. So he starts a kickstarter project for fans who want to see "Bieber Sings Rigoletto" become a reality to donate to. Would that be so different from what Tim Schaeffer and others who used to be industry luminaries are doing with their new projects? Both are leveraging off of name recognition and past success. If one case is "wrong" then so is the other. The thing is it isn't for you or I or any other singular individual to say what is wrong or right or valid or invalid. That's the communities decision made by whether or not enough of it donates. There is no "right " project or "wrong" project when it comes to kickstarter. Only successful projects and unsuccessful projects as determined by the community at large.

(And no, I would NOT donate to the Bieber kickstarter)
 
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Goodbye my Monte boy. May you rest in the peace you never knew in life.
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44. Re: Op Ed Jul 25, 2012, 19:16 RollinThundr
 
NKD wrote on Jul 25, 2012, 13:15:
Verno wrote on Jul 25, 2012, 13:00:
Ugh, I wish people would stop bitching at what goes on Kickstarter and what doesn't. The crowd in general decides what gets funded and what doesn't

I don't think that's fair at all. For example we all frequently complain about other people doing things in the videogame market despite our ability to just ignore them and exercise our personal preferences and purchase rights. I know you're a part of that as much as the rest of us too :)

Yeah, there's nothing wrong with complaining about a particular KS not being worthwhile, but once people stray into "Kickstarter should start making more judgement calls about whats worthwhile." argument they are just being silly.

This isn't a project, it's funding a well established, ongoing business for an indefinite period of time with no actual guidelines or standards. So yeah obviously I'm going to exercise my rights not to fund it but I'm also going to voice my displeasure that they're allowing it on there despite all of those things.

Actually there are a list of goals, which include actual production of new material, and a time frame listed of one year. It's not unlike a comic saying "Okay for this much we can produce 12 monthly issues." Are they no longer allowed to come back for more in another year to produce more?

Many Kickstarters are there to produce a product that will then be sold. This is different in that it is not making anything that will be sold, it's free even to those who haven't contributed.

I just think the attitude of "You're too manestream to use Kickstarter" reeks of hippy bullshit. Who's to say existing projects can't change to an alternative funding model? I can think of a number of game developers who are "well established, ongoing businesses" that everyone here would cream themselves if they freed themselves of the shackles of a publisher.

It has zero to do with being mainstream, they're not pitching a game, or product. They're using the current popularity of Kickstarter to beg for money for something adblock does for free. Sure Child's Play blah blah blah, that's great and all, aside from that they're a couple of douchenozzles.
 
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43. Re: Op Ed Jul 25, 2012, 13:48 Verno
 
I just think the attitude of "You're too manestream to use Kickstarter" reeks of hippy bullshit. Who's to say existing projects can't change to an alternative funding model? I can think of a number of game developers who are "well established, ongoing businesses" that everyone here would cream themselves if they freed themselves of the shackles of a publisher.

You're just projecting, I didn't say anything about mainstream and I have no idea where the hippy comment originates. By your criteria of alternate funding, Justin Bieber can make a Kickstarter project for his next album to throw off the shackles of his corporate overlords. NY Times? Heh, why not The New York Times Kickstarter Edition? They're certainly entitled to try but people are going to call bullshit on things that seem like they're taking advantage of a situation.

But maybe you're right, maybe having rigidly defined rules harms the integrity of crowd sourced funding itself. Maybe people should just take the good with the bad and ignore it. I don't know, I just know that the PA Kickstarter feels pretty iffy to me and I'm not happy KS allowed it.
 
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42. Re: Op Ed Jul 25, 2012, 13:15 NKD
 
Verno wrote on Jul 25, 2012, 13:00:
Ugh, I wish people would stop bitching at what goes on Kickstarter and what doesn't. The crowd in general decides what gets funded and what doesn't

I don't think that's fair at all. For example we all frequently complain about other people doing things in the videogame market despite our ability to just ignore them and exercise our personal preferences and purchase rights. I know you're a part of that as much as the rest of us too :)

Yeah, there's nothing wrong with complaining about a particular KS not being worthwhile, but once people stray into "Kickstarter should start making more judgement calls about whats worthwhile." argument they are just being silly.

This isn't a project, it's funding a well established, ongoing business for an indefinite period of time with no actual guidelines or standards. So yeah obviously I'm going to exercise my rights not to fund it but I'm also going to voice my displeasure that they're allowing it on there despite all of those things.

Actually there are a list of goals, which include actual production of new material, and a time frame listed of one year. It's not unlike a comic saying "Okay for this much we can produce 12 monthly issues." Are they no longer allowed to come back for more in another year to produce more?

Many Kickstarters are there to produce a product that will then be sold. This is different in that it is not making anything that will be sold, it's free even to those who haven't contributed.

I just think the attitude of "You're too manestream to use Kickstarter" reeks of hippy bullshit. Who's to say existing projects can't change to an alternative funding model? I can think of a number of game developers who are "well established, ongoing businesses" that everyone here would cream themselves if they freed themselves of the shackles of a publisher.
 
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If you don't like where gaming is heading, stop giving your money to the people who are taking it in that direction.
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41. Re: Op Ed Jul 25, 2012, 13:00 Verno
 
Ugh, I wish people would stop bitching at what goes on Kickstarter and what doesn't. The crowd in general decides what gets funded and what doesn't

I don't think that's fair at all. For example we all frequently complain about other people doing things in the videogame market despite our ability to just ignore them and exercise our personal preferences and purchase rights. I know you're a part of that as much as the rest of us too

This isn't a project, it's funding a well established, ongoing business for an indefinite period of time with no actual guidelines or standards. So yeah obviously I'm going to exercise my rights not to fund it but I'm also going to voice my displeasure that they're allowing it on there despite all of those things.
 
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Playing: Fire Emblem, Diablo 3, Bravely Default
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40. Re: Op Ed Jul 25, 2012, 12:09 Creston
 
Ugh, I wish people would stop bitching at what goes on Kickstarter and what doesn't. The crowd in general decides what gets funded and what doesn't. Your personal preferences only come into play with regards to whether YOU give money, not with regards to whether something should be allowed to begin with.

These are typically the same kinds of people who bleat that they love democracy, but as soon as the majority decides something they don't like, all of a sudden they're whining like a fucking mule.

Creston
 
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39. Re: Op Ed Jul 25, 2012, 11:23 nin
 
Do they do another kickstarter for more free money?

I wouldn't be surprised if they do it again next year. Because hey, it worked last time, right?
 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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38. Re: Op Ed Jul 25, 2012, 10:36 RollinThundr
 
Verno wrote on Jul 25, 2012, 09:07:
The point was that by their guidelines, Kickstarter is for funding projects. This isn't a project, unless I'm missing something about it...it's a fundraiser to drive the web site instead of using their existing ad revenue.

Exactly. A long established web comic with a large revenue stream has no place looking for money in a place that is supposed to be all about independent projects that probably couldn't get investment capital anywhere. This is PA taking out an operating credit line from the public except that they pay no interest and are just banking on the goodwill of their other ventures. It's shameful stuff, I won't be funding it and if this is the kind of thing to become regular on Kickstarter then I won't be bothering with anything on that site.

They could have simply asked for subscription or had some value added membership level but let's be honest, they wanted a slice of that Kickstarter pie.

This, it's a douche move, though considering the source, not all that surprising. So what happens when they blow through the wad of cash? Do they do another kickstarter for more free money?

Has none of the PA fans heard of adblock?
 
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37. Re: Op Ed Jul 25, 2012, 10:23 Beamer
 
Tumbler wrote on Jul 25, 2012, 10:21:
If you look at the gaming website's content in general as lobbyists for the AAA gaming industry this makes a bit more sense.

I'm seeing some evil billionaire sitting at a little table sipping tea, "Saying, oh no they can't do that." (When kickstarter first gets rolling)

Then "They can't do that!" (as more projects get funded)

"NO NO NO, they can't do that!!" (Kickstarter catches fire and projects start showing up from every direction)

"NOOOOO, YOU CAN'T DO THAT!!!! STOPPP!!!! (today)

It just seems like a desperate attempt to keep people away, "They're all going to scam you!!!" as if people still believe the AAA gaming industry is trust worthy to listen to.

Did this make sense to you when you typed it out?
 
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36. Re: Op Ed Jul 25, 2012, 10:21 Tumbler
 
If you look at the gaming website's content in general as lobbyists for the AAA gaming industry this makes a bit more sense.

I'm seeing some evil billionaire sitting at a little table sipping tea, "Saying, oh no they can't do that." (When kickstarter first gets rolling)

Then "They can't do that!" (as more projects get funded)

"NO NO NO, they can't do that!!" (Kickstarter catches fire and projects start showing up from every direction)

"NOOOOO, YOU CAN'T DO THAT!!!! STOPPP!!!! (today)

It just seems like a desperate attempt to keep people away, "They're all going to scam you!!!" as if people still believe the AAA gaming industry is trust worthy to listen to.
 
99gamers.com-Game trading site, PC digital trading!
Kickstarter "Game Developer"!
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35. Re: Op Ed Jul 25, 2012, 10:18 Yakubs
 
A fool and his money...

I think the only people "in the wrong" here, though, are Kickstarter themselves (for this shameless money grab) and the morons who actually gave money to this. PA is just a profit-centric company taking advantage. More power to them if there are idiots out there facilitating it.
 
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