I gotta crack out a Penny Arcade Christmas card today but I wanted to talk to you about advertising first.
You may have noticed that we are running an advertisement for MechAssault this month. I have already gotten some mail asking if the reason we have been talking this game up so much over the last few weeks is because MS is stuffing our pockets with cash. I find it hard to believe that anyone who has followed PA for any amount of time could consider that a possibility. You guys should know us better than that after four years. I have said on countless occasions that I feel the key to any success we may have is that we have always been 100% honest. Even when it comes to shit like Metal Gear Solid 2 and Halo we tell you what we think even when it gets us buried in hate mail. The fact of the matter is until last month I didn’t think the Xbox was worth owning. I said as much right here in this very space countless times. But things have changed now and I don’t mind admitting that. I play MechAssault every single night with Kiko. I think it’s one of the best multiplayer games ever and I am proud as hell that we are advertising it now on PA.
That is the thing you should know about our advertisements. We actually turn shit down on a fairly regular basis. I will be the first to admit that we could certainly use the money some of these companies offer but if the game is crap we’re not going to put it on the site. If you see something in that slot over there you can rest assured that we think it’s worth your time to give it a click and check it out.
Here is another little behind the scenes look at the way advertising works on the internet. Game companies want animation. They want a fucking guy to parachute down from the top of your screen and land on the article you’re trying to read. They want you to have to interact with their advertisement just so you can see the content you came for. Everyone who uses the internet knows that this kind of shit is just frustrating. Look at sites like IGN, Gamespot, or Gamespy. You can’t read an article there without an animated bug crawling across your screen or some flash ad blaring shitty music. When we decided to do advertising we decided that we wouldn’t ever run any kind of animated add. Some companies won’t advertise with us because of it. Others, it’s like pulling teeth to get a non animated ad out of them. They have this idea in their head that the only way their ads will be effective is if they are annoying as fuck.
Some of them are actually shocked when ads at PA out perform animated versions at other sites like IGN. Here we are just a little comic site and we kick their fucking ass. We tell them that if you don’t insult people with shitty flash ads, they are much more likely to actually check out your game. I have never once clicked on a flash ad except to mute it or close it and I have a feeling you guys are pretty much the same. They just can’t get it through their heads that people don’t like to be annoyed by advertising.
I feel like we have a pretty good relationship you and I. Maybe I’m wrong but I feel like we treat you guys pretty well and I think that’s why you treat us so well in return. You click on our ads and buy our stuff at an unbelievable rate. Those new Wang Fu shirts sold out in one fucking day. I mean that is some crazy shit. Tycho and I just want to say thanks. We have the best job in the world and we have it because of you guys. It seems like we should hug or something now.