Penny Arcade, the creators of the successful web comic and the biannual Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) conventions, makes its money from dedicated fans buying comic-branded merchandise and ad revenue. The company wants to return to its early days in which it did not depend on ad dollars by calling on Penny Arcade fans to help raise money to remove advertising from the website.
Over the next 36 days, Penny Arcade has a goal to raise at least $250,000 with the help of a Kickstarter campaign. The initial goal is only a quarter of the projected cost of running the website without ad revenue, but this will enable the company to remove advertising from the home page.
Donations start at $1. Generous backers who give the company more than Kickstarter’s $10,000 maximum can arrange for a donation. If you give more than the maximum, you get a tour of the Penny Arcade offices or a painting of their favorite video game character from comic artist and Penny Arcade cofounder Mike Krahulik.
Some of the backer rewards include serving as an intern for a day. This runs $7,500 — along with whatever it costs to fly you out to Seattle (Penny Arcade isn’t covering traveling costs.)
This Kickstarter is a bold step for Penny Arcade. When the site was originally funded by donations, it did not have the massive fanbase it now has, and the Penny Arcade Expo wasn’t even on the horizon. Yet fans came together to make sure the company could keep the servers on.
The Kickstarter campaign ends August 15. After only a few hours, Penny Arcade has already raised 20 percent of its initial $250,000 goal. If donations keep rolling in at this pace, it’s likely the company will exceed expectations well before the deadline hits.