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Avatar image for hailinel
#1 Posted by Hailinel (25787 posts) -

Earlier today, Ben Kuchera at Penny Arcade Report, the news and reviews arm of Penny Arcade, posted that PAR is no more. The reasoning behind the decision wasn't given, but with both PAR and PATV getting the axe, it appears that Penny Arcade is streamlining their operations. Best of luck to all that will need to find new work.

Though I will say that, as much as I don't wish job loss upon anyone, I did not find PAR to be a source of quality journalism. Kuchera could be abrasive and judgmental in his articles and stand-offish in his responses to comments, if not outright hostile. Headlines were often written in a needlessly aggressive manner; I lost count of the number of times a story was given a headline almost verbatim, "X! We're sick of your shit!" Not Kotaku-level stupid, but definitely among the lower tier of the paid-staff game news sites out there. Interesting news marred by the site's chosen approach to news.

So while I pour one out for those that will need to find new work, I'm plugging the bottle for the site itself. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on it, but PAR is one game news site that I will not miss.

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#2 Posted by SgtSphynx (2412 posts) -

I'm curious as to the reasons for the end, but that's as far as my interest goes. I think I have gone there maybe three times since it started.

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#3 Posted by Milkman (18907 posts) -

Not a fan of Penny Arcade Report at all (or Penny Arcade anything for that matter) but still, this probably means a good amount of people are out of work right now and that sucks.

I'm sure this thread will be nice and civil, though!

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#4 Posted by Sinusoidal (3253 posts) -

I used to get a kick out of the comics years ago. After you read a bunch, there's this point where they just cease being funny and begin being obnoxious, and sometimes obscene to the point of offensiveness, and I'm normally not offended by anything. Hell, I watched "A Haunted House" the other day the whole way through. Parts of it reminded me of Penny Arcade: trying way too fucking hard.

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#5 Edited by Oldirtybearon (5626 posts) -

Probably a smart move on their part. They make comic strips and hustle for sick kids. PATV and PAR were like dingleberries clinging to the ass-hairs of Penny Arcade. Silver-lining at least is that Kuchera finally got flushed.

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#6 Posted by audioBusting (2511 posts) -

@hailinel said:

[...] as much as I don't wish job loss upon anyone, [...]

Heh, funny you mentioned that.

They did produce a few really good articles over the years, and their Worth Reading-like section is pretty nice, so I'll miss them a bit more.

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#7 Edited by TruthTellah (9806 posts) -

I definitely feel for those out of work from this, and I hope they'll find other jobs soon. Though, I would say that I actually prefer Kotaku articles over what the PA Report provided, and I think they never really seemed to find their footing. They also felt a bit unnecessary, and I always got the impression that their ties to the Penny Arcade brand hurt them more than it helped.

I may have not always appreciated their work, but I hope the people affected can get back on their feet real soon.

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#8 Posted by Mike (17251 posts) -

@milkman: I thought it was just Kuchera, but I only ever paid half attention to the PAR. Garbage.

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#9 Posted by pr1mus (4158 posts) -

Of course he'll find work elsewhere but i still hope this the last i hear about Kuchera in the gaming world. In any case good fucking riddance for as long as it can last.

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#10 Posted by crithon (3979 posts) -

How long have they lasted? I only viewed their site like 2 times, they didn't do much to get me interested to read their articles. With some of these blogs you can't just be reporting news you have to do something creative.

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#11 Edited by audioBusting (2511 posts) -

@mb: They had a photographer and a couple other editors too. Kuchera is the main contributor and really the only one giving them a somewhat bad reputation.

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#12 Posted by wjb (1901 posts) -

I think I visited PAR maybe once or twice, and it was purely because Kuchera supposedly said something foolish. It came about around the time when I was going to PA less and less.

Shame, though.

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#13 Posted by Demoskinos (17319 posts) -

Kuchera is awful.

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#14 Posted by the_reflection (276 posts) -

GREAT! Ben Kuchara is a giant piece of shit.

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#15 Posted by Hailinel (25787 posts) -

@crithon said:

How long have they lasted? I only viewed their site like 2 times, they didn't do much to get me interested to read their articles. With some of these blogs you can't just be reporting news you have to do something creative.

PAR was active for about two years.

@hailinel said:

[...] as much as I don't wish job loss upon anyone, [...]

Heh, funny you mentioned that.

?

Avatar image for akyho
#16 Posted by Akyho (2119 posts) -

PATV too? oh FFS! I am serious for one sole reason.

Loading Video...

It is official Loading Ready Runs comedy game news show it over. Which this sucks...sucks more as they already canceled the weekly sketches they have been doing for 10 years and been a staple of my internet viewing for 4. There is still one more year of the Sketches...but Checkpoint season ends soon after the new years.

Whelp time to see what they do next, since I know LRR is not over just ugh....I look forward to Checkpoint every Monday.

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#17 Edited by Hunter5024 (6699 posts) -

Never happy to see people out of a job. I wish him the best, and don't really feel the need to kick him while he's down guys.

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#18 Posted by zoozilla (1023 posts) -

@hailinel: I believe he's referring to the incident in which Kuchera expressed a very harsh attitude towards a Forbes games guy who made a mistake in one of his articles.

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#19 Edited by audioBusting (2511 posts) -

@hailinel: There was a controversy earlier this year where Ben Kuchera wanted to hurt someone's career and badmouthed him on Twitter.

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#20 Edited by CornBREDX (7184 posts) -

I don't really care about Penny Arcade in general. Always sucks to lose a job but I guess they weren't doing a very good one.

Really shitty it happened in December, though. That's always the worst.

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#21 Posted by Slag (7242 posts) -

PAR was a little too pretentious for my tastes, but I'd rather they fixed their issues than go under. It also seemed pretty light on content. I think they probably were at a point where they either needed to go all to make it work in or get out. I guess it was out.

Looks like most of the PATV shows will stick around in some form and I'm glad for that.

Avatar image for hailinel
#22 Edited by Hailinel (25787 posts) -

@hailinel: There was a controversy earlier this year where Ben Kuchera wanted to hurt someone's career and badmouthed him on Twitter.

@zoozilla said:

@hailinel: I believe he's referring to the incident in which Kuchera expressed a very harsh attitude towards a Forbes games guy who made a mistake in one of his articles.

Oh, yeah. That. I remember now.

Really shitty it happened in December, though. That's always the worst.

I know that feeling all too well, unfortunately.

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#23 Posted by mordukai (8467 posts) -

@hailinel said:
@cornbredx said:

Really shitty it happened in December, though. That's always the worst.

I know that feeling all too well, unfortunately.

Yeah, December falls at the end of the fiscal year when the budgets are completed and when the forecast for the next year is made. To them, big companies that is, it makes perfect sense to lay off people right at that time. Sucks for the people getting fired.

As far as Penny Arcade goes then I never really followed it so I don't have any sort of feeling either way. Still sucks for the people who are loosing their jobs. However, I only recently became aware of who Kuchera is and he comes off as a real asshole, no love lost there, but I'm sure there are plently of trash sites out there who would give an individual like him a job.

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#24 Edited by cmblasko (2355 posts) -

That sucks. I personally don't like Kuchera very much but he is a really talented writer and some of the pieces over on PAR were truly top-notch. Hope everyone involved finds employment ASAP.

Does anyone know WTF is going on with Penny Arcade lately? Between this and that job post from a week or two ago it almost comes off like they are in some sort of financial trouble which seems impossible considering A) the success of the web site B) the significant revenue PAX must surely generate C) the web site's expenses have basically been crowd sourced and paid for the past 2 years or so (I think that's the case?). Or did they just hire a business guy who determined that these ventures were not profitable?

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#25 Edited by csl316 (13808 posts) -

I used to read Ben all the time when he was at Ars, but I never became a big fan of PA Report (just seemed overly negative sometimes). Nevertheless, I popped in from time to time and it sucks to see any site shut down.

Best of luck to that whole crew.

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#26 Edited by slyspider (1747 posts) -

Never read that site, but sad to see people lose jobs. Can't really think of a rational human being that wouldn't be sad though

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#27 Edited by BisonHero (10444 posts) -

@cmblasko: Penny Arcade is probably doing fine financially, though yes, those specifics ventures were likely not profitable in any way.

I'm guessing traffic has always been really low for PATV, though presumably the documentary and reality show did slightly better. And I'm guessing PAR wasn't really gaining traction, especially with such a small staff, and Penny Arcade doesn't exactly have Vox Media money to just buy up a bunch of well known games journalists to get attention.

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#28 Posted by Vermisean (159 posts) -

I'm yet another of the mind that Kuchera could be abrasive and hostile, but despite that, it's always a bummer when people lose jobs.

Good luck to all of them, though!

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#29 Posted by rpgee (775 posts) -

Damn shame to hear it happen. It was alright to begin with, even if it did seem a little negative and I fell off after it became a little too editorial in spots, with a paucity of proper news.

What I'm interested in is what will be happening with Sophie Prell, as I legitimately enjoyed her articles. Hopefully she wasn't too overshadowed, she put in good work.

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#30 Posted by ArbitraryWater (14638 posts) -

From what I read of Kuchera, he always seemed like an abrasive dick, which seems about the right level given what I think of the rest of Penny Arcade at this point. I used to like that website, once upon a time. Of course, it probably helps that I'm not 15 anymore.

Still, the guy has a family to feed, and I can't really celebrate his departure in good conscience because of that fact.

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#31 Edited by TowerSixteen (554 posts) -

There was a moment when I thought it might make it. A little bit after release it had been taking on writers, Andrew Groen, Sophie Prell, at least one other. They were active, and presented a variety of opinions, and even seemed like there were helping Kuchera keep his foot out of his mouth. I still had some issues about how the site was run- for example, when Kuchera wrote a glowing review for the Penny Arcade TGC it was...bad- but I really thought that maybe it was becoming something.

But then, without warning or discussion, the other editors dropped off one by one, and it went on a slide into becoming The Ben Kuchera Experience ft. Ben Kuchera. And one oft-annoying dude can not a news site make.

I still enjoy Penny Arcade the comic, often enough, and PAX and Child's Play are rad things to have exist. Hope noone involved finds themselves in a bad place for the holidays.

EDIT:Though God Damn it it all to Hell, If Extra Credits does not find a new home then everyone in the world can just pack it in and cry because we've killed the Best Thing.

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#32 Posted by StarvingGamer (11343 posts) -

FUUUCK YOU KUCHERA

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#33 Edited by beepmachine (631 posts) -
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#34 Posted by DonPixel (2833 posts) -

I guess PA got bored with news... you know PA being all about the LULZ.

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#35 Posted by SpaceInsomniac (5853 posts) -
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#36 Posted by TechnoSyndrome (1316 posts) -

Good. Ben Kuchera can go rot in shit. What an awful person.

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#37 Edited by RE_Player1 (8007 posts) -

Ben Kuchera is one of the worst writers this industry has seen, other users have done an excellent job in pointing out why. Sad for all those effected but I hope he gets out of the industry, it would be better without him.

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#38 Posted by TruthTellah (9806 posts) -

I guess, if Kuchera goes into a lower profile position after this, it may at least mean some gamers will have one less thing to incessantly complain about.

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#39 Posted by ripelivejam (10611 posts) -

weird how a few years ago i used to be all about penny arcade. how things change.

i still think the fair food and batman trophy comics are some of the funniest shit ever, though.

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#40 Posted by Milkman (18907 posts) -
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#41 Edited by kishinfoulux (3226 posts) -

I'll take a Kuchera over a fucking Greg Miller any day of the god damn week.

Curious to see where he bounces to.

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#42 Edited by DonPixel (2833 posts) -

Kuchera biggest crime is having support DRM on the xbone, because jeeezz why would gamers give money to developers-publishers instead of the scummy 2nd hand market?

Revolutionary gamers united to de - throne the evil DMR because obviously our money is in best hands with gamestop (who happens to invest zero money into game development)

Kuchera the evil MS schill deserves all the hate, he was obviously part of a dark agenda that wanted a digital model to prevail in home consoles, because that has been horrendous on steam and mobile platforms!

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#43 Posted by Jacktrote (62 posts) -

Why do you guys speak of job loss as if it's life loss?

People lose jobs all the time, I've lost a few, I don't know anyone who hasn't actually, and you just go and you find the next one.

No one dies or loses health when they are no longer employed, they simply become more careful with their expenditure until they find the next job. If they're good at what they do and know what a job hunt is, then finding the next one is a matter of brief time.

It's really funny how when something shuts down everyone is like "RIP employees"

Avatar image for petiew
#44 Posted by Petiew (1413 posts) -

@donpixel said:

Kuchera biggest crime is having support DRM on the xbone

I believe people hate Kuchera because he revelled in the fact he was possibly ruining someone else's career and then acted like a 5 year old when people told him he was a shitty person.

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#45 Edited by Dasacant2 (246 posts) -

@donpixel said:

Kuchera biggest crime is having support DRM on the xbone, because jeeezz why would gamers give money to developers-publishers instead of the scummy 2nd hand market?

Revolutionary gamers united to de - throne the evil DMR because obviously our money is in best hands with gamestop (who happens to invest zero money into game development)

Kuchera the evil MS schill deserves all the hate, he was obviously part of a dark agenda that wanted a digital model to prevail in home consoles, because that has been horrendous on steam and mobile platforms!

People were mad because they were giving up something for nothing, it wasn't because they wanted all their money to go to gamestop. Also people hate Kuchera for more then him just supporting Xbox one DRM.

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#46 Posted by Gamer_152 (14476 posts) -

I didn't read it all the time and Kuchera sometimes handled things poorly, but I didn't ever feel the burning hate for him that a lot of other people seemed to. PAR actually had some great articles in itself and pointed to a lot of other interesting content on the internet. It was thoughtful, well-written, and not just doing what most video game journalism is doing and regurgitating the same predictable news and reviews over and over. I'm kinda sad to see it go.

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#47 Edited by RazielCuts (3264 posts) -

I haven't watched Extra Credits for a while now but I really enjoyed that show. I hope it still continues on its YouTube channel and manages to be funded in some way, I'm sure if they had a kickstarter people would donate. I remember the artist had arm surgery and there was a donation drive to pay the medical bills and the community outpour was great so I could see the same happening if they struggle to stay afloat without the PA backing.

In other news, I rarely actively hate a person I don't know across the internet but man, Ben Kuchera just seems like the worst. I think he probably will/should work at Polygon because he will find his own like minded kind there. What an awful human being, it almost seemed like PA incubated that kind of arsehole behaviour across the internet.

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#48 Edited by Ghostiet (5832 posts) -

I hope Extra Credits finds a new home and anyone who's not Ben Kuchera finds a good job fast.

I hope Ben Kuchera finds something that doesn't require him to write. Or goes to Polygon, so I can hate that site even more.

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#49 Posted by SpaceInsomniac (5853 posts) -

I haven't watched Extra Credits for a while now but I really enjoyed that show. I hope it still continues on its YouTube channel and manages to be funded in some way, I'm sure if they had a kickstarter people would donate. I remember the artist had arm surgery and there was a donation drive to pay the medical bills and the community outpour was great so I could see the same happening if they struggle to stay afloat without the PA backing.

In other news, I rarely actively hate a person I don't know across the internet but man, Ben Kuchera just seems like the worst. I think he probably will/should work at Polygon because he will find his own like minded kind there. What an awful human being, it almost seemed like PA incubated that kind of arsehole behaviour across the internet.

Yeah, it sucks about all of PATV getting the axe. I usually enjoyed Extra Credits as well. :(

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#50 Posted by altairre (1492 posts) -

I always thought that site was kind of terrible (even though there was some good stuff) but obviously I wish all those that lost their job the best of luck. Maybe Kuchera finds something that is better suited for him but he is basically the one "games journalist" I can't stand. His attitude, the way he writes and how he acts just rubs me the wrong way.

Why do you guys speak of job loss as if it's life loss?

People lose jobs all the time, I've lost a few, I don't know anyone who hasn't actually, and you just go and you find the next one.

No one dies or loses health when they are no longer employed, they simply become more careful with their expenditure until they find the next job. If they're good at what they do and know what a job hunt is, then finding the next one is a matter of brief time.

It's really funny how when something shuts down everyone is like "RIP employees"

Just because it happens all the time doesn't mean it's not shitty. Why would you be upset about people empathising with them and wishing them luck?