Penny Arcade doing another lame(r) kickstarter

#151 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (4011 posts) -

@thesoutherndandy said:

@squirrelgod said:

Then don't give them money if you don't want. This isn't complicated: See something on Kickstarter that you want to support? Toss a few bucks their way. See something you don't care for? Move on with your life.

It sounds so simple doesn't it? It sounds like it should be so easy to grasp doesn't it?

Watching people on Twitter get freakin FURIOUS about this (not all the neg. responses were this way granted) was just so completely absurd to me. Like, I don't understand it at all. I get people not liking it and it being something to discuss but if this is seriously upsetting you, you are TOO DAMN CLOSE to video games and the industry surrounding it.

Maybe it was because I had just been watching the news (Benghazi, 3 girls escape TEN YEARS of imprisonment, massacre in Syria) before going on Twitter and reading about this but holy crap, the lack of perspective, and what people get super mad about is staggering sometimes.

I can absolutely see where you're coming from, and "Count your blessings" is always good advice for anyone, but "nobody should be mad about this, because there are much worse things that happen all the time" is quite literally a fallacy. And that same sort of fallacy could be turned around to attack this kickstarter as well, with a statement such as "how dare these assholes ask for money to make a podcast, when there are actually people suffering in the world, and many good charities don't receive enough donations!"

That argument loses a bit of strength due to their own charity work, but you could still claim that the money should be going towards their own charity.

Again, all fallacy, as far as I'm concerned. For me, what this really comes down to a handful of questions:

Would you be upset if PA simply put a "donate to Penny Arcade" button on their website? This is subjective.

Does PA really need the money to help them make a podcast? Do they even need one penny?

Does Kickstarter support "fund my life" projects? For those who do not know, they--supposedly--do not.

Has PA openly mocked the idea of "fund my life" projects in the past? As seen in the image above, yes, they have.

If they don't need the money, does that essentially make this kickstarter a "fund my life" project? This is also subjective.

Personally, I'm fine with every aspect of this, other than them using kickstarter. I feel that it veers uncomfortably close to the sort of "non-project" that isn't supposed to be a part of kickstarter. My level of basic disappointment or raging anger really has nothing to do with the argument. "People are too upset about this," is good friends with "there are better things to care about" in the selection of useful debate points here.

For the record, I'm just slightly bothered.

I'm not saying people shouldn't have a problem with this, although maybe that's how I came across. I'm saying people shouldn't be FURIOUS about this. And I'm not saying that's how everyone who doesn't like it is being. It's started some good discussion about Kickstarter and it's role in the industry and how it should be used and that's great. My issue is with people who have so little perspective on what matters in life that they get physically angry about things that really don't mean a lot. Especially in a case like this where it has no effect on a person if they decide they don't like it. None. You can literally ignore it and your life will continue on it's set course with zero deviation. (unless you are trying to Kickstart something and this PA deal causes people to turn on Kickstarter and you don't get funded but I'm talking majority here).

People get passionate about things that happen in this industry and I think that's cool all I'm saying is if you find yourself furious about pretty much anything video game related, take a step back, chill out a little bit and think about what actually matters. Cause this really doesn't.

#152 Edited by RazielCuts (3062 posts) -

@razielcuts: Those are all pretty cool in my book, but apparently you get to decide what the community does and does not want so I guess I should shut up.

No wait, that's you. Because it's not up to you what the community wants or doesn't want.

Also, those are only three of many perks. Also keep in mind you get everything above those, which at that level, starts to add up. And it is, again, supposed to raise money for the podcast, not just give to the community. But why not do it in a way that lets them give cool stuff to the community? Would it really be better for them to just get the money?

Well judging by the big fat zeroes next to those pledges I don't think the community thinks they're all that 'cool' either, at least not at that price. Maybe take a zero off and we can talk. But hey, If you think they're that cool why not drop a grand on one yourself, no? Didn't think so. I don't have anything against perks for higher donations, just the calculations on some of these seem bananas crazy. $2.5K to speak about a topic on the podcast? That should be waaay lower and almost be a given as should the name credits be as a 'thanks for supporting us with this' deal.

Thanks for the input Mr. 'No, you shut up' mature guy.

@rebgav said:

You don't think that the rewards which directly involve them might be in the higher priced brackets to limit how much of their personal time they're giving away, given that both have jobs and families?

Please don't cry me the 'they have a family' river. We all have families, we all have jobs. This is a job to them like any other (albeit a slightly more public one). They're not 'giving away' their time, they've priced themselves to be paid quite handsomely for it ($1K an hour, sign me up!), this is a business transaction. My main problem is the pricing and it almost seems as such to be a barrier to 'not sully ourselves with the riff raff and weirdos' when it should've been placed as a community feature. If it were at a lower price point they could've pitched it like a TNT, 'hey come play games with us on this specific day in our lobbies and hang out.'

Maybe I just find the whole idea of 'Play games with us and pay us directly' weird and as it feels more like it should be a charity perk for Child's Play as a good will thing and not a kind of gaming prostitution thing (slight hyperbole there).

#153 Edited by MordeaniisChaos (5904 posts) -

@razielcuts: First of all, if I'm the "no you shut up" guy that means you're the "just shut up" guy. Not really sure those are on different tiers. Second of all, all I actually said was that you were deciding something for an entire community, not deducing it. YOU think it's not worth it, therefore you think it shouldn't exist. I actually probably would spend that kind of money on one of those (the coop one in particular) if I had a job at the moment, but I unfortunately have other things to focus on, like getting my ass eligible for enlisting. I greatly admire those guys and think it'd be a really cool time to do some coop over Live. Is that a responsible use of my money? Fuck no. But hey, it's something I'll remember for a long ass time and probably look back on fondly.

I'm really tired of people coming along and saying "Well, excuse me, but that's stupid, therefore you have no right to want or like it. Please go away, you stupid animal." That's what you and people who behave like you come off as sometimes. Seriously, who gives a flying fuck what anyone else thinks is worth any amount of money? I posted a thread about taking my lady friend to a very expensive hotel and spending a couple of days in the city having fun and doing all sorts of expensive things. A lot of people responded that it was way too much, some said they would tone it down a bit, and others still said it would be totally worth it. There is no one size fits all for what is worth something to people in general, because everything has a different value to different people.

Sure, they could have made it lower. Make it $250 bucks though and suddenly you've got 70 people wanting to get in on it and it's just "whoever got a chance to pay in first." That's not a good system. The high price means that only people who genuinely really want to go for it will do so. And if someone has that kind of money to throw away, let them. Who cares. If they are spending it on shit like that, you probably aren't going to convince them to put it towards a more "worthwhile" cause.

Also, they aren't forcing anyone to choose those options. If no one chooses them, they won't lose any sleep, and if anyone does, they did it completely of their own volition. They were not suckered into jack fucking shit, they made a decision.

And it's not a slight hyperbole, it's a huge one. You're getting your panties in a twist over a fucking choice someone else might make. No one is being twisted into doing any of these things. You want to be a cynical jerk? That's fine. But don't be confused and defensive when people don't expect everything to be a bunch of assholes grabbing for money. The PA guys have been great to their fans and have done some truly amazing things. They deserve any rewards that come along with doing something like building Child's Play up from the ground.

#154 Posted by rebgav (1442 posts) -

They're not 'giving away' their time, they've priced themselves to be paid quite handsomely for it ($1K an hour, sign me up!), this is a business transaction. My main problem is the pricing and it almost seems as such to be a barrier to 'not sully ourselves with the riff raff and weirdos' when it should've been placed as a community feature.

Oh, my bad, only now do I understand that it's about greed and pocketing the money but not enough about greed that they'd price it low enough to attract the riff raff. Finally, it's all coming together.

#155 Edited by Snail (8770 posts) -
@hailinel said:

What? Ten bucks?! That's like two five-dollar foot longs. How dare they!

To be honest, that's simply a way for them to get whatever money they can. Which is really confusing because a) I don't know what they'll use the money for exactly, so I don't know how much they need and thus don't see why I'd pledge, and b) how can the budget for a podcast be so flexible? They're over the 70,000$ mark, but would essentially be okay with just 2,000$? That seems weird. What if they only needed 20,000$? What are they going to do with some remaining 50,000$?

I don't get why people are still throwing money at this. I frankly don't visit Penny Arcade too often. Maybe their community is just seeing this as a gigantic tip jar. Which is fine I suppose, and also perhaps the only possible scenario where this makes any sense?

#156 Posted by Excast (1157 posts) -

Penny Arcade has the right to ask for money and fans certainly have the right to give it to them. It does still come off as kind of gross though. Imagine the Giantbomb guys starting a kickstarter that was basically "Hey, give us some free money." I'm sure they would get plenty, but it would still come off as a rather cynical use of the good will they have built up over the years.

#157 Posted by Humanity (11428 posts) -

@snail said:
@hailinel said:

What? Ten bucks?! That's like two five-dollar foot longs. How dare they!

To be honest, that's simply a way for them to get whatever money they can. Which is really confusing because a) I don't know what they'll use the money for exactly, so I don't know how much they need and thus don't see why I'd pledge, and b) how can the budget for a podcast be so flexible? They're over the 70,000$ mark, but would essentially be okay with just 2,000$? That seems weird. What if they only needed 20,000$? What are they going to do with some remaining 50,000$?

I don't get why people are still throwing money at this. I frankly don't visit Penny Arcade too often. Maybe their community is just seeing this as a gigantic tip jar. Which is fine I suppose, and also perhaps the only possible scenario where this makes any sense?

The $10 limit is at once the most ingenious and grossest thing about this whole Kickstarter. They knew from the outset that fans would throw money at them just like GiantBomb knew that people would buy cheap China Don't Care t-shirts regardless of quality. While I'm not saying GB are monsters, although it was pretty stupid, at least that was limited to a single day event and was priced in a controlled fashion. "Gabe" and "Tycho" aren't completely oblivious to their fanbase and how Kickstarter works. While no one should get FURIOUS, it's also not exactly right to say "if you don't want to don't pay and stop getting butt hurt" because thats not what is the problem. The very real problem is that they knowingly exploited both Kickstarter and their fans (whether the fans realize this or not) in order to get upwards of $50,000 of free money. IF this was constructed as a giant tip jar it would not have worked nearly as well. Have they juce placed a link on their website saying "hey give us cash you guys and we'll do cool stuff" I doubt they would have raised nearly as much.

TL;DR: Yes it is gross, not it's not something worth getting furious about.

#158 Edited by Fearbeard (863 posts) -

I really wished they would have only gotten $10.

I don't really care about them doing another kickstarter, but the $10 really irks me. If you have no faith in your community to reach your realistic goals, then you don't deserve a community that will help you reach those goals.

#159 Edited by StarvingGamer (9010 posts) -

@fearbeard: I'm pretty sure the $10 goal indicates that they had nothing but faith in their community.

@snail: Well, they're buying dedicated audio equipment and hiring a human being so, that's a decent chunk no? USB drives with custom artwork? Commissioning an episode to be fully animated?

#160 Edited by Fearbeard (863 posts) -

@starvinggamer: Actually the $10 goal means that they will get the money no matter how little is actually donated (well over $10 that is). It's a cover your ass move, not a sign of faith. It also sets a terrible precedent for Kickstarter. Now I have no doubt that Penny Arcade will deliver everything that they promise and maybe they do see it as a sign of faith in their community, but a lot more unscrupulous people will probably use this same model to game the system after seeing Penny Arcade do it.

#161 Posted by StarvingGamer (9010 posts) -

@fearbeard: Nope. Last I checked the PA guys weren't interested in hemorrhaging money. They're incredibly business savvy (or at least Robert Khoo is). Their Kickstarter wouldn't have gone up this low unless they were sure they were going to get at least the ~$20,000 they would need to purchase dedicated recording equipment and hire a sound guy. If anything, the goal indicates their dedication to their fans, saying, "Hey, this is probably going to be expensive, but we know you really want this podcast so we're going to do it, even if you only give us $10".

And what precedent is it setting? This KS only worked the way it did because of how widespread and rabid the fanbase for PA is. If you're popular enough to get lots of money despite an obviously lowball goal, you're the type of person who has a career and reputation. You aren't going to cash in and take off. If you're Joe Nobody putting up a KS with a $10 goal, well, enjoy your $9 (after the KS and Amazon cut). The idiot who backed you deserves to lose their money.

#162 Posted by Fearbeard (863 posts) -

@starvinggamer: Oh, it's not their business acumen that I'm doubting. I have no doubt that Penny Arcade knows how to make money.

#163 Edited by StarvingGamer (9010 posts) -

@fearbeard: That's why I find it so baffling that people see this as a "let's grab what we can get" sort of deal. That interpretation makes absolutely no sense if you take a moment to actually think about the people involved.

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