Website Penny Arcade is going ad-free. The popular web comic and blog launched a kickstarter project this morning and is asking for $250,000 from readers and interested parties, but if they get a million bucks, the site will be entirely without ads for the year.
Gabe and Tycho, the creative force behind the PAX Conventions as well as their site, say "we can continue working for advertisers but if we can, we’d rather work for you," hence the non-traditional revenue model.
The creators of PA say they ran their site on donations during the first dot-com bust in 2001, but back then it was necessary. This new charity drive is more like an experiment, and fans should know that, according to Gabe and Tycho, Penny Arcade will continue to be OK if they fail to meet their kickstarter goals.
I like Gabe and Tycho, but I have my questions about this: Mainly, someone has to pay for the site to exist. Wouldn't you rather it be advertisers than readers? I could see making a hardline statement that editorial content will not be influenced by advertising at all, but I imagine that already the policy over at Penny Arcade.
Any way it works out, it will be interesting to watch. The Kickstarter has only been up for a few hours and they've raised over $30,000.
What do you think, reader? Will you "donate" some money to Penny Arcade?