I don’t think PA’s Kickstarter really overshadows any other projects, because there are enough awful, terrible kickstarter projects not worth the webspace they’re hosted on already.
but what this does is undermine the reputation Kickstarter has as a place to help genuinely creative people without the means to fund their ideas. Kickstarter projects that succeed typically have some sort of intangible benefit to a person or society, either through cleverly designed consumer products or goodwill towards someone or someones plural.
penny arcade’s tiered “we’ll take whatever money you idiots are willing to give us” plan is asking for $1 million dollars to remove all advertisements from their website. Penny Arcade is already a financially solvent company. They produce a product that (unfortunately) is very well-received.
This kickstarter isn’t funding some new project, it isn’t going to fundamentally change their already-successful product, and it isn’t going to supply any sort of greater good to anyone. The idiots at PA are simply making a cash-grab to replace one source of income (affiliate advertising space on their website) with another (directly taking money from shitty nerds’ pockets) and nothing more.
their plan is to do this every year if it’s a success this time. this is essentially like moving from an affiliate blog revenue system to turning their operation into a comic book publisher like DC or Marvel. the only difference is that DC and Marvel produce a physical item that you actually receive in exchange for your money, whereas Penny Arcade will continue to publish the same stuff, online-only, without any changes besides the removal of a few ads that are already paying VERY well if their business is any indication.
So I guess this makes sense to spend money on if you purchase comics regularly and see Penny Arcade as another investment, even though there is no sort of collector’s value or even any tangible product delivered as a result of your purchase.
to me it just sounds like a dirty cash grab by a couple of shitty idiots that still don’t understand how to run a sustainable business after doing the exact same thing since 1998.
if anything they’re pigheadedly trying to swim against the current of what makes businesses financially solvent today. “no advertisements!” is a really naive solution for an almost 15 year-old company that has never moved off of the internet.