So I just posted this in our Kickstarter comments and I figured it would also be worth posting here.
“The ads are awesome, don’t get rid of them!”
This is very nice to hear. We’ve worked very hard over the last ten years to make sure that our advertising was actually useful. This is not the industry standard. There are many publishers who balk when we tell them we need an early copy of their game before we can commit to advertising. We also don’t allow many of the popular styles of ads like pop-ups, and site take-overs. We also make PA presents projects which are (let’s be clear) ads but actually cool ads. So hearing that many of you appreciate this is great.
It’s a great system but it has some problems in our mind. One problem is that all of these ads lock us into the page view model. That is to say we need people to come read Penny Arcade on our site. So when someone takes the comic and shares it on Tumblr, or Facebook we get screwed out of a pageview. We also can’t put the comic in the RSS because we need you to come visit the site. The advertising model is just not designed to be compatible with the way people want to share content these days. Going forward I think that not being tied to advertising on the site would be best not just for us but for our readers.
That doesn’t mean we’re going to stop talking about awesome games. That is our job! It just means that you will get those recommendations from the comic and the news posts. We love games. We love tearing into the bad ones, we love poking fun at the good ones, and more than anything we love telling you about games you might have missed otherwise. That is what we do and that’s not going to change because we remove the ads.
The important thing to remember here is that the ads are not your trusted source for good games. Tycho and I are and we are not going anywhere. In fact if there are no ads, that is to say no point in the chain at which we accept money from publishers, it makes things even easier for us. A while back I wrote a post about quitting SW:TOR and how disappointed I was with some aspects of the game. I don’t mind telling you that because of that post I was not able to do a Star Wars PA Presents project we’d been talking with them about doing. If you know me you know that the idea of getting to draw official SW stuff was incredibly exciting. I knew that when I posted that article I was throwing that project in the garbage. I don’t want to ever have to think about hurting our relationship with a publisher or making our ad guy’s jobs any harder. This KS is about working for you guys not for publishers.