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The PA Report - It was a great two years, but now it’s time to say goodbye



  • dayoshdayosh Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    Semi-unrelated, but I just tweeted Tyler Sigman, who told me that he does plan on continuing his "developer strategy advice" talks in his own way, in lieu of the shutdown. Thought that was super cool of him.

    dayosh on
  • MageoftheyearMageoftheyear Registered User regular
    Goodbye Ben. Thank you for all the quality pieces you and your team have put out over the last two years.
    There were quite a few I disagreed with, but I'll give you this - none of your opinions were lackluster!
    For that and your drive to improve gaming journalism (mission accomplished) you have my respect.

    Fare well wherever you fare ;)

  • BerBer Registered User regular
    Sorry to see the end of PAR. I've enjoyed your work Ben. I've followed you on twitter, be sure to let us know where you land next, I'll be there.

  • cynical_bugcynical_bug Registered User regular
    "As for the trolls on the page (@cynical bug and others): it's sad Ben didn't get better enemies, but you have to make do with what you got. "

    I honestly wasn't aware he was on board from day one. The rest of my comments still stand. He was there to drive site traffic with controversial headlines and articles. Very similar to how a lot of gaming sites run now-a-days.

    These are all just my opinions. I'm not going to resort to name calling or "picking a side", Ben Ally vs Ben Enemy. If you liked PAR, great. If you liked Ben Kuchera's articles, fantastic.

    I simply disagree with you and you (apparently) simply disagree with me, I hope the world doesn't end as a result.

  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    Ben didn't work for Kotaku--he worked for Ars Technica.

    I think people are responding not because they are on sides, but because you have two large factual inaccuracies in your comment, and a bizarre opinion.

    You say that PAR was good at the start, but Ben was the *only* writer initially. Sophie Prell came later. So, you actually did like Ben's writing. Ben changed or you changed. Ben didn't work at Kotaku, so you aren't familiar with him from there. I guess my thought is are you sure you're even talking about the right person?

    Second, the bizarre opinion; which PA kickstarters have been "Questionable"? I gave to both of them, and was very happy. They raised half a million in one, and a quarter of a million in another, each time exceeding their goal.

    How is that "questionable"? The only way I think you can label that as "questionable" is if you think everyone who donated to them is stupid or foolish with their money, which isn't a very civil point of view, so I'm confused by the conciliatory tone at the end of your post.

    Again--this isn't being pro or con anything except logical thought & communication. Your first post is a completely inaccurate statement, followed up with a criticism against Penny Arcade's wildly successful kickstarters, so it is just hard to know what you actually wanted to say.

    It seems to me that the only way to logically parse your comment, bearing in mind that you don't want to offend or insult people, is:

    1. You don't like Ben's writing any more, although you used to, once.
    OK. You don't like his writing. Why are you here & commenting? I thought you had something of practical value to share.

    2. You thought the Penny Arcade kickstarters were in poor taste, or just not for you.
    OK. If you feel that strongly, don't donate. Why bring it up? It doesn't seem like there is any practical value in criticising the PA kickstarters on PA's site, where they raised over a quarter of a million dollars.

    I'm not trying to call you out, but trying to help illustrate for you why you're getting some blow back. It isn't about being Team A vs Team B, it is simply a reaction to what appears to be a rude and hostile comment.

    I personally was not crazy about every article, but thought Ben nailed a lot of them. I'm sad for him, and think it's in really poor form to come here and make sure you get a kick in. If you don't like the guy, and you don't like his work, go deconstruct it on your literary blog. Don't come to the comments and get a last swing at the guy.

  • smilinggoatsmilinggoat Registered User new member
    For the record, I loved reading PAR. My favorite gaming press out there. Excellent work. You'll be sorely missed!

  • dennisdennis Registered User regular

    You put WAY to much effort into this. :D

    Opinions have to be based on a foundation of facts to be considered even worth discussing. Cynical_bug may not be a troll (accepting the latest post at face value) or unintelligent, but he/she is so uninformed as to not be capable of giving an opinion that will have any value other than humor.

    I'm not saying all this to insult you, Cynical_bug. But you are entirely out of your depth.

  • JariJari Registered User regular
    Ben and Steve Totilo are pretty much the same person (where journalistic integrity is concerned), so I can see where the confusion might come from.

    Also just because a Kickstarter is successful doesn't mean it isn't questionable.
    The 1st PA KS "Penny Arcade Sells Out" removed banner advertising from outside parties. Just outside parties. They still have PA merch ads on the site. I'm not saying one way or the other that the fans shouldn't have coughed up the dough. Clearly they wanted it, and it's their money and they can spend it how they want.

    But Kickstarter exists to "Kickstart" things. To create. Not for an already established business to restructure their company financially.

    Finally this is a farewell article to PAR not a, "Praise Ben Kuchera: Fallen Lord of Game Journalism" thread.
    If people want to express an opinion they should be entitled to. This whole "If you didn't like him, why are you here" comment is meaningless. People who didn't like the man or his brand of "journalism" have just as much right to voice their thankfulness that he's no longer going to be around as the ones who did enjoy him can lament his passing.

    In my opinion the man was a troll, and I for one am glad to see him gone.

  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    Dennis gets it--opinions have to be based on a foundation of facts to be worth discussing. If something isn't worth discussion (an uniformed opinion based on a mistake), it shouldn't be posted.

    You're bringing up rights and entitlements; I'm not speaking about rights. I'm speaking about the ability to be in civil conversation with others, and the ability to comprehend others points of view. These aren't part of a bill of rights, they are simply life skills.

    He expressed confusion/surprise at people correcting him, and sought to explain it as a "teams" issue. I'm explaining to him the actual reason he's getting a frosty reception. His "rights" don't matter. He has a right to feel the way he feels, and others have a right to feel the way they feel. His surprise and conciliatory tone makes it clear that he didn't intend to get into something contentious, so I'm explaining to him why he did.

  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    and, to the point of value/questionable: seriously? The best you have is you don't like it? That's not a point. I may as well start writing about how I don't like the shade of grey they used on this site; it would be as relevant, useful, and well-supported as your opinion.

  • Dark JaguarDark Jaguar Registered User regular
    Venkman, let me see if I understand your position correctly.

    You seem to be stating that Gabe donating more money makes him a better person than the rest of us. You go on to acknowledge that he simply HAS more money to give, and that most of us don't have anywhere near that kind of "laying around money" to throw out, and in spite of that, or perhaps even BECAUSE of it based on the tone of your post, that STILL makes him a better person.

    Near as I can tell, the very fact of his massive wealth, all by itself, and the very fact of how much he CAN donate, makes him a better person than the rest of us. Is that about right?

  • WitmongerWitmonger Registered User regular
    Hmmm. I like tacos.

  • TubeTube Administrator, ClubPA admin
    Let's try and keep this at least vaguely on topic.

  • JackdawGinJackdawGin Engineer New YorkRegistered User regular
    @Jari - There are no ads on the Penny Arcade main page, for their products or anyone else's. This was the goal of the kickstarter and it was achieved. Goals for removing banner adds from other portions of the site were not met.

    Furthermore money raised during the kickstarter was used to fund/create Strip Search as well as this year's Lookouts and Automata series. So yes it did "create" something.

    Their second kickstarter was for the PA downloadable podcast, which barely cost anything. They kickstarted it (as stated on their page) as a way to give rewards and such to the people who supported it. Regardless it was also a Kickstarter to "create" something.

    It's very odd to me that you say these Kickstarters are questionable by which I think you mean "not in the spirit in which Kickstarter was intended." And yet that's not your call to make. Nor any of ours. Only Kickstarter can decide whether a project is or is not appropriate for their platform. By the virtue of both of these projects funding we can see that Kickstarter says "yes. This is an appropriate use of the Kickstarter platform."

    I guess you're trying to say that you think Penny Arcade shouldn't use Kickstarter, because Kickstarter is a plateform only for small time creators and companies. That once you hit a certain level of success you can no longer ask for crowdfunding, but must bear all the costs out of your (obviously considerably deep) pockets. But that's nonsense. Kickstarter is an egalitarian platform, open to all users of any size. Indeed some of the largest Kickstarters to date have been the Reaper: Bones ones, put on by one of the oldest and largest miniatures companies in the business.

    I guess you could say that people donating to Penny Arcade means less money for the kickstarters for an artisinal hotsauce or documentary about the forgotten factories of Ohio that obviously more worthy. But that's an obvious fallacy so you can't be suggesting that.

    Looking forward to having this debate in the comments of their next "questionable" kickstarter.

  • TubeTube Administrator, ClubPA admin
    What did I just say dude

  • JackdawGinJackdawGin Engineer New YorkRegistered User regular
    @Tube - Apologies. I didn't see that at the time of posting, as comments on these pages don't refresh unless you reload the page (which posting does not do)

  • EseellEseell Phoenix, AZRegistered User regular
    Every time I come to the PA site and see this story on the sidebar it makes me a little sad. Good luck wherever you go, Ben and PAR staff. PAR was great and you made it that way.

  • seriousgamesseriousgames Registered User regular
    Thanks Ben and PAR crew - I enjoyed reading PAR. I had burned out on most game journalism but your site provided some good original content and also introduced me to other writers and sites that are worth reading. Hope you all find something really fun to do next, looking forward to seeing what it is.

  • GoodcactusbreadGoodcactusbread Registered User regular

    "You have a responsibility to these men and women that work for you. If you want to go do something else, that's fine, but don't make the people that work for you pay for it. I think Jerry and Mike should have left, let PA in the hands of the so talented people they regret so much leaving behind (from their own words) and do their own thing. What they did in fact, is simply dropped all the guys that didn't fit into their new goals, apologized, and called it a day."

    I agree it's unfortunate that some people, very nice and talented people, lost jobs in this re-structuring of the company's goals and priorities, but I think your compassion is leading you to a bad conclusion this time. PA is a company that Jerry and Mike started. That's their product, their work, and their livelihood. Why should they be the ones to give away the company they've built and go out to try and start over again from scratch? That's not how businesses work.

    Say I opened a shop called "Goodcactusbread's Sandwiches and Locksmithing", and I hired a cook and a locksmith as my employees in this company I started and ran. Now say that after a few years I decided that the sandwich portion of my business was not only more profitable, but also what I felt truly passionate about. I wouldn't leave and start a brand new, competing sandwich company and give those employees control over the business. I'd fire the locksmith, thank him for his work and dedication, and hope he lands on his feet, maybe help out a little behind the scenes to make it easier for him to do so. Unless I mis-read your response I would have to say that the action you're suggesting would be a terrible business model.

    Hey guys! Want to go hunt demons with me?
  • GoodcactusbreadGoodcactusbread Registered User regular
    Sorry, I couldn't resist making the 420th comment.

    Hey guys! Want to go hunt demons with me?
  • dennisdennis Registered User regular

    My reading is that there was a typo and it was supposed to be "PAR" instead of "PA". In other words, M&J would get out of the PAR business and give it to Kuchera, et al.

    Still wouldn't work out logistically for the reasons I outlined below, but at least it isn't that outlandish a thought as the alternative.

  • GoodcactusbreadGoodcactusbread Registered User regular

    Your logic is logical.

    Hey guys! Want to go hunt demons with me?
  • gacbmmmlgacbmmml Registered User regular
    So I guess no new articles even though you were given until the end of the year before being forced to shut down?

  • Tel PrydainTel Prydain Registered User regular
    Noooooooooo. :(

    I'm going to miss PAR. It was my bastion.

  • SiddownSiddown Registered User regular
    gacbmmml wrote:
    So I guess no new articles even though you were given until the end of the year before being forced to shut down?

    You sure are a piece of work. First you now will no longer donate to a charity because PAR is shutting down and now you are chastising the staff for not putting out new articles?

    Also, how do you know that they "were given until the end of the year before forced to shut down"? You know the intimate business details of the PAR shut down?

  • TubeTube Administrator, ClubPA admin
    Don't rise to it

  • gacbmmmlgacbmmml Registered User regular
    @SIDDOWN: Haha. You musta missed my first comment in this thread. Anyhoo, how do I know they were given till the end of the year? Because Jerry said so in his blog post.

  • SiddownSiddown Registered User regular
    @GACBMMML, Jerry didn't say they'd continue to post new articles in his post, he didn't say that at all. A much more logical way to read it is they'll shut down the PAR website on December 31.

    PA uses hosted servers from Rackspace (according to their Job Posting anyway), so they've probably paid up for the month, so just pulling the plug on Jan 1 makes the most sense. Also, when someone posts a "so long, and thanks for all the fish" type post, it's generally the last one.

  • Ori KleinOri Klein Registered User regular
    I'll just leave this here:


  • paco_pepepaco_pepe Registered User regular
    I rarely enjoyed the articles, i don't know, the quality and opinions/stances were all over the place, like the daily topics, what i enjoyed was the community, i'm sad to see that go..
    I'll keep visiting Giant Bomb and Polygon for actual gaming coverage, best of luck to all PAR team. :)

  • FrugusFrugus Podcaster Registered User regular
    I am going to miss this place dearly. In an age where the internet is marred with either insipid, biased or paid for editorials, I found PAR to be a safe haven from the dredges of the internet. It's my very humble opinion that more and more young people read only because the internet has so much to offer, and places like this web site offered a great bridge between balanced minds and popular culture, if not sometimes acting as one of the rare lighthouses to guide the easily influenced masses who think gaming is still a vehicle to drive the youth towards total violence.

    I am very sorry to see this place go. The internet will be a lesser place.

    Le Frugus
  • iamabeiamabe Registered User regular
    Ben, I enjoyed your content and the great discussions that PAR always brought up. Following your twitter so I can see what you do next.

  • ObbiObbi Registered User, ClubPA regular
    Man, I just now started lookin' at this place! I'm terrible at timing.

  • ArkhamTexanArkhamTexan Registered User regular
    I never would've learned about iOS's "The Room" were it not for PA Report. I haven't been able to get around to it until the end of November. I think it's a shame the site's stopped its output now that "The Room 2" has just been released. Would've loved to have seen the write-up on it.

  • heinousjayheinousjay Registered User regular
    Is this story just going to sit here, frozen in time like a tribute to that which once was and can never be again?

  • Xand0rXand0r Registered User regular
    I'll miss the PA Report. Sad stuff.

  • LoneGunmanLoneGunman Registered User regular
    Figured I'd just make my last PAR comment here. It was fun while it lasted. It sucks to be going into a new year without it but one can only hope something new will rise from its ashes, even if it's not under the PA banner.

  • BonafideSupramanBonafideSupraman Registered User regular
    Goodnight, Sweet Prince.

  • TubeTube Administrator, ClubPA admin
    Which is a nice note to end on. That's it for the comments section on the PA Report, thanks for contributing!

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