The Penny Arcade Kickstarter has been going for almost a month now, and while at the time of this writing they've made $410k, almost twice their $250k goal, they're still a far cry from their ultimate and still-secret goals at the one million dollar mark.
Penny Arcade’s undertaking is straightforward and still fascinating: raise enough money to make the site ad free for an entire year. Be sure to read their Kickstarter for full information, but here's a short summary: eliminating ads, and therefore the time needed to organize, sign on, and create advertising content, would free up time for a plethora of new and exciting projects.
Once one understands that the ad removal is less about the actual ads and more about sparing time for new projects, then it's easier to rev up your excitement engines and start kicking money toward all of the goals.
Personally, I find their goals to be awesome and inventive. Fans can, so far, expect the leader-board ad to be gone for a year, a new six page Automata comic, and a cosplay event from Jerry Holkins aka Tycho from Penny Arcade. The next goal to be reached is titled 'Strip Search,' and will be a reality style show about up and coming webcomics.
It's amazing to see the list of ideas that the Penny Arcade team has formed, and it seems that the fans and community at large are anxious to help the goals come about.
However, the highest goal sits at a whopping $1.4 million. Other Kickstarters may have reached into the millions, but those all had a tangible reward, i.e. something to buy, have, or use once funding had been reached. In the instance of Penny Arcade, the money simply goes toward paying the Penny Arcade corporation. This isn't a bad thing though. As stated on their Kickstarter page, a lot of fans want to contribute financially but aren't interested in purchasing books or t-shirts. And truly, there's nothing all that strange about paying for a product that one enjoys. Penny Arcade is merely allowing fans to help fund them directly.
They're breaking new ground and very likely starting the wing flaps of a revolution. I'm very curious to know where it all goes and if they try it again next year. It doesn't seem likely that they'll make all of their goals, and it doesn't seem realistic to ask people to contribute hundreds of thousands of dollars every single year. That's really the only part where I draw up short: what will happen next year? Where will Penny Arcade go from here? They've said themselves that they have no idea, but they really want to explore the "what if's" of the situation.
As a huge fan of Penny Arcade and a believer in chasing your dreams in general, I hope that the Penny Arcade Kickstarter exceeds all of my wildest imaginings and Mike will get to draw to his heart's content. If we're lucky, the world will soon know more about the Daughters of Eyrewood, we'll get a free Twisp and Catsby children's book, and I'll finally get to cruise around the PA website via a custom made app! Man, who cares* what they do next year, this year is going to be awesome!
*actually I do care, I'd love to see all of the incredible, amazing, inspiring things that Penny Arcade dreams up year after year after year All images taken from the Penny Arcade Kickstarter site