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

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Posts

  • tommohawktommohawk Registered User regular
    Well this announcement is disappointing to say the least :/

  • SiddownSiddown Registered User regular
    Gamethyme wrote:
    If Jerry & Mike want to spend more time doing whatever they do, then surely they can afford to hire more staff to do the shit they don't want to do. This shutting down and laying everyone off is pure selfish bullshit.

    There's nothing in life easier than spending someone else's money. While Mike and Jerry might not be very business savvy, Robert most certainly is. If PAR was turning a decent profit, they would have sold it, found someone else to run it, or...well, practically anything other than just shut it down. There's a reason so many game sites either close or consolidate, its because it's a very saturated, competitive market.

    Personally I think this a bad decision, but at the same time I've run my own business before and it's a lot more complicated than most people think. If PAR wasn't something they were all that interested in, and after two years it wasn't bringing in enough revenue, so be it.

    @Tube, most jobs I've worked at have non-compete, so I wouldn't be surprised if there actually was one in Ben's contract strictly because it's part of most contract boilerplates. It's irrelevant in this case anyway, no court would up hold it after PAR is shut down, well unless there was some pretty strange, personal service type language in the contract which would be highly doubtful.

  • BridgerBridger Registered User new member
    This is very disappointing. I really appreciated the coverage and writing from this site. There's not enough good games journalism sites out there :(

  • AaronTheSpyAaronTheSpy Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    Ben, I will pay money for the content the site generates. Is there going to be anywhere people can support the team who wrote here. I rather like the style and prospective you guys bring and do not want to see you guys just stop writing. I know Mike and Jerry kickstarted the pod and no ads for PA, can we do something like that for this?

    AaronTheSpy on
  • MaskedWallabyMaskedWallaby Registered User regular
    I'll be honest: back when Jerry announced that the PA Report was going to be a *thing,* I rolled my eyes. I did the same when I noticed PATV growing into what it is (was) now. The notion seemed to be that the only reason these things would have a chance at life was their connection to Penny Arcade, which I thought arrogant.

    Then, last year, I actually started reading PAR.

    Ben, your writing has been very enjoyable to read. Sure, there are countless video game websites one can visit and find all the industry news and reviews their eyes can take in, but PAR became my go-to place for honest, well-thought-out games journalism. I may not have agreed with all of your opinions, but there was one thing I felt I could definitely count on: you wrote like you honestly felt. It was that honesty that kept me coming back. I'll take an honest person's opinion over a larger organization's any day, bias or no, because I feel comfortable knowing that the bureaucracy inherent in larger organizations has not dumbed down your message.

    It is disappointing to hear that this site is being shuttered, because it feels like it's just getting into its stride. Another year or two and who knows what could have happened?

    As for Mike and Jerry's reasoning for shutting down the site, well, who can say? Pretty much only them. I will say that it's a shame PAR couldn't become its own separate entity and simply raise revenue through advertising. Hell, all the other gaming sites do it. Plus, this site already has a nice layout and a community connection to the Penny Arcade Forums (although I am *still* annoyed by the ordering of comments). It's like watching a fair getting shuttered; you wonder why this thing couldn't exist *all* the time. Kudos to the designer.

    I started reading Penny Arcade as a teenager for the comics and Jerry's posts, and will probably continue to do so. But I hope Ben & crew all find new good homes somewhere on the internet. I can't imagine having the Penny Arcade Report on your resume would be anything but helpful.

  • mnihilmnihil Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    "We didn’t fix game journalism, but the whole idea of it being broken and needing a white knight to run in and make everything better was arrogant and more than a little pigheaded."

    No, it's still broken, but it needs a white cavalry more than a single knight, which PAR failed to provide; that's the point. When the website started and there was still energy, and, perhaps, funds, it had promise, giving insights into studios, containing more elaborate articles, covering different things. But even though I was never a faithful reader, I felt as though the articles I intermittently read over time felt less and less vivacious. And with perhaps being over-worked and lack of sleep came a bleaker, blurrier PAR.

    This is, esentially, a magazine. No single person, with some aid (not to downplay the contributions of Mr Groen and Ms Prell), can make a magazine. And proper journalism, the exciting kind, takes time and travel and energy and ideas. Right now, gaming journalism is just an increasingly large crowd screaming loudly for attention, some more eloquent than others. Even The Guardian or Time have game reviews now. Still it mostly comes down to "how many stars?"

    I think it's the right decision to shut down the Report. Not because of any of the vitriol some readers feel it's alright to spew (seriously, people?), but aspects of it, yeah. Sometimes, it looked like a soapbox, at others, it sounded like noise. I just feel that, in its race to be something, it failed to become something special.


    As for the larger picture of "Penny Arcade - The Business": Again, I feel it's the right call. I sure as hell do not care one bit about PINS, or am the biggest fan of Lookouts, Automata, etc. I am, however, a big fan of doing what you love, and it never felt as though PATV, or the PAR, were exactly that. They were business decisions, trying to expand a brand, but the brand seemed too far removed from those extensions. Mike and Jerry have a passion for words and art, respectively. Doesn't mean they have to be good at making TV, or hosting a magazine, etc. I know that, somewhere, the philosophy that a business has to expand to maintain itself is a thing, but I know too little about economics not to think that, maybe, slowing down is the right choice ever so often.

    EDIT: Oh, and even though this rarely sounds sincere, I mean it: Thanks for trying.

    mnihil on
  • MatthiasMatthias Registered User regular
    Ben, very sad news. I'd been wondering when content was very sporadic over the last couple weeks. PAR has been one of 2 or 3 gaming sites I pay attention to over the last couple years: great features, great reviews, and a great slant toward covering the social location of video gaming, which is what most gaming sites miss. I'm really gonna miss the dad-with-small-kids perspective. Good luck and I'll keep an eye out for where you land.

  • AdventurerAdventurer Registered User regular
    Good riddance.

  • pdSlooperpdSlooper Registered User regular
    I dunno what to say, but I feel like I should say something. Your posts addressing sexism in various aspects of the gaming community and the game industry were very important to me. Gaming to me is like movies to a filmophile...if that filmophile were married to a filmophile and came from a family of f‎ilmophiles. It's an important hobby and social aspect of my life...really, it feels like an inseperable part of my identity. But the misogyny that runs deep into every aspect of gaming is simply exhausting. I need friends who understand and like the things I do, but I also need them to not be awful people. The comments on some of the articles here have hurt, because it makes it apparent that so many gamers are more interested in maintaining their prejudices and privileges rather than try to be a decent human being. But some comments, and the articles themselves, have helped me a lot, by showing that not only do some gamers understand, but they care, and they care enough to change.

    Thank you.

  • AdventurerAdventurer Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    Here, I'm just going to copy and paste someone else's post because it bears repeating and it's worded better than I could do it:

    HAZ / DECEMBER 7
    @WARPZONE

    As far as game journalism goes, PAR was only ever marginally better than the status quo. Ben often brought his very biased opinions to his pieces, and would shut down comment threads once he felt they were going against his views. Also, go look up the Eric Kain incident to see just what kind of journalist Ben really is. In the case of PAR, the problem was not with pressure from publishers, but from hypocrisy. I don't believe that has anything to do with why PAR is now shutting down, but I know that I certainly wasn't coming here for Ben's writing. Much of the articles on the site are just summaries and links to _other_ game news sites. I will miss the PAR community, as that is where I found the real value of this website to be. I hope that wherever Ben moves on to, he will be reigned in.

    Adventurer on
  • R0ADK1LLR0ADK1LL Registered User regular
    Wait, what? Is PAR still a thing?

    I thought this site had some really good journalism, it didn't just spout out the PR like so many other sites do. Plus it linked some great articles, worthy of thought.

    Ben, you will be missed.

  • nopantsjacknopantsjack Registered User regular
    Much as I sort of agree with the comments talking about how the PAR started out wanting to tackle game journalism then quickly became indistinguishable from a mainstream gaming news blog, PAR was still a good one; PAR, polygon and RPS are pretty much my gaming blogs of choice at the moment (although all 3 aren't as enjoyable as they were when they began).
    Despite disagreeing with you about a few things, not the feminist stuff though because that's self-evident, Ben is still one of the best games writers out there (/faint praise).

    I liked PAR but it wasn't very different from, say, Polygon, even changing to white to look more like it. As a bit of a retrospective I recall the first time I realised PAR wasn't what I had hoped it was from the pitch was during the ME3 malarky when you sided with Bioware over the scorned fans. I get why but PAR was pitched as a site that would take developers to task and this just seemed as though you were another site that wanted to be on the side of developers (I know that sounds stupid, but I really a smidgeon of Old Man Murray back in game journalism).

    Still, I'd have rather seen you guys revitalised than removed, so my condolences, we will never see its quite like again etc.

  • Shian KiriShian Kiri Registered User new member
    I feel for the team here at The PA Report.

    I wasn't really around to read what The PA Report is about or it's true purpose, but I can definitely say that I hope a lesson was learned and that any comment you read is remembered whether it's negative or positive. As a person who generally is neutral, over the course of reading this website, the experience became increasingly negative.

    What started out as great insight to certain aspects of the Gaming Industry ultimately turned out to be this complete bashing on just about anything based on who ever the article writer was. Whether it was ego or emotions getting the best of the article writer, I can definitely say that this ultimately came down to some really stupid Forum Post with a crap ton of Post Replies.

    It stopped being enjoyable.

    Never the less, this is a learning experience and I hope that it's not forgotten for anyone and if this comes back in some form in the future, improvements are made.

  • TheScrivenerTheScrivener Registered User new member
    I love video games but I've never been comfortable with games journalism. I've read more articles here in the past year than I did in the past two in other places, and if I read more elsewhere as well it's likely because of the Cut. The PAR's take on things was rarely neutral, often problematic, but always interesting. Godspeed.

  • NcJokerNcJoker Registered User new member
    Ben, you and the rest of the PAR team created something wonderful here. You all did a fantastic job, and I look forward to seeing where you all end up next. Thank you

  • GrassHopperGrassHopper Registered User regular
    This...THIS was my source for oculus news...among many other saving graces it provided from the general riff-raff of gamingz newz. I'll provide more thoughtful commentary after I process this demise but for now, where will I hear what's new in the VR frontier??

  • RubicantRubicant Registered User regular
    Best thing about this site were the comment threads. Sad to see them go.

  • JaradakarJaradakar Registered User new member
    Well this sucks. Ben I really enjoyed pretty much every article -- I thought it was a huge refreshing change for game coverage and in the right direction. Being a father and a game developer I really appreciated the direction you took in covering games. It was my go-to for game reviews. I never did read the comments much and I have no idea why you are going away, but it makes me sad. Gamers are going to hate, so I never take their comments too seriously and that should not have caused a great place for game reviews and insights into the industry to go away.

  • er910er910 Registered User regular
    I salute you and your crew and wish you all well. And to my fellow commenters, keep on gaming.

  • UndeadAreGoUndeadAreGo Registered User new member
    Sad...I came around nearly every day since the beginning. PAR will be missed.

  • dayoshdayosh Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    Goodness...I step away from the internet for a couple of days for work, and I come back to this.

    It is not very often that I visit any news sites, video game-related or otherwise. I feel that far too much journalism is hyped or bought with corporate or government funds. That being said, I never felt that sort of vibe from any of the stories I have read on this site.

    I began reading Penny Arcade back in high school. The more I read, the more I felt I could relate to its creators; they were gamers who had interests largely aligned with my own, and so when a game was recommended or chastised, I truly felt like I could trust their opinions, much the same way as I could trust those of a good friend. PAR became another extension of this for me; as others have mentioned, there was so much that this website has given us over the past, precious few years. The stories have tackled many things, from under-representation of female characters in gaming, to promoting social awareness and acceptance of different cultures (Bronies, the Fighting Game Community, Female Gamers, and so many more).

    The beauty of the site however, is that the stories themselves weren't the main focus; they were merely a catalyst to drive readers to voice their thoughts and feelings on the very diverse and varied subject matter. Over the years, the stories found here have evoked many agreements, quarrels, fact citations, and soap-box proclamations.

    I am deeply saddened to now come back to the internet, only to learn that the site is being retired. Indeed, it feels like losing an old friend. The stories will greatly be missed, as will the camaraderie from all of the commentators who once shared their wonderful thoughts in such a mentally-stimulating fashion.

    So to you, PAR Staff (& Commentators): Godspeed, and best of luck to you all. I consider the past two years of my life unequivocally enriched by your collective presence, and thank you all for the parts you have played in this. Keep your heads held high, every last one of you.

    HaterJetSmall_zps77772f55.jpg

    dayosh on
  • FenlainFenlain Registered User regular
    This really sums up my feelings better than what I could write:
    "As far as game journalism goes, PAR was only ever marginally better than the status quo. Ben often brought his very biased opinions to his pieces, and would shut down comment threads once he felt they were going against his views. Also, go look up the Eric Kain incident to see just what kind of journalist Ben really is. In the case of PAR, the problem was not with pressure from publishers, but from hypocrisy. I don't believe that has anything to do with why PAR is now shutting down, but I know that I certainly wasn't coming here for Ben's writing. Much of the articles on the site are just summaries and links to _other_ game news sites. I will miss the PAR community, as that is where I found the real value of this website to be. I hope that wherever Ben moves on to, he will be reigned in."

    For a site that claimed it was going to "fix" journalism, it sure ended up just being another Kotaku.

  • WhyroonWhyroon Registered User regular
    I'm amazed all the gloating/affronted 'white males' in these comments can lift their arms to type anything what with all the chips on their shoulders.

    Speaking as a white male I never once felt persecuted or judged by any article at PAR. Don't you think it's more than a little insecure of someone to interpret an article about possible racial or gender inequality as being an attack on their own race or gender?

    Anti-racist isn't actually a codeword for anti-white, whatever the deluded brown shirt wannabes that hang out in youtube comment sections might tell you.

  • michaelpronaldmichaelpronald Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    I can't comment on the business-end of how PAR worked into the scheme of things, but creatively speaking I think this is a mistake. After stumbling across the Report, I've visited it daily because I've enjoyed its selective, curated material. Sure, there's fewer stories here with a smaller staff, but how many other professional-level gaming outlets are there that can write with the freedom and license of the Penny Arcade platform?

    I'm really not concerned if it was "unbiased journalism." I'm also not sure there is such a thing. What I do know is that there's a voice in the work on PAR and I appreciate the realness of the conversations here. I don't think many other sites can offer that, Kotaku included.

    Jerry's blogs scratch a creative itch I have when it comes to short-form writing based in the gaming world, but it adds quite a bit of depth to the palette of this site when there are other voices like Ben and company to complement. It doesn't add up to me that PA needs to shut down PAR to concentrate on other things when this seems as if it running pretty well independent of Mike and Jerry's work. Again, I can't pretend to know inner-workings on the business side, but please remember that there was something fruitful here and consider revisiting it again.

    I know I'm just one person, and I'm not sure PA is the kind of website that worries about the quantity of "hits," but this style of writing is my bread and butter and the lack of it will decrease my traffic on this site.

    michaelpronald on
  • Nickman300Nickman300 Registered User regular
    I honestly don't know where I'm going to go for gaming news now. For the past 2 years PAR has been the only site I could stomach as a whole, as opposed to stumbling across the rare article. I guess it's just social media now. I didn't always agree with the articles on here, but I knew why if I disagreed, and never felt like I was being told I was wrong. I can't wait to read more from everyone involved.

  • XomXom Registered User regular
    Ben, you added value to the world here. Sometimes I really disagree with you, and sometimes you write the only published article I do agree with. Thanks for being interesting. Godspeed, and please let us know where you're headed.

  • fizzixfizzix Registered User regular
    I'm sorry to hear about this. I respect Mike and Jerry for deciding what would make them happy and taking the steps to make that happen, and from that perspective I understand the decision. I am disappointed nonetheless; the PA report was one of the things on the site I still enjoyed. The various side projects like Automata and Daughters hold no interest for me as I find the writing pretentious and unpleasant, and the PAR and Extra Credits were the only things that kept me coming to the site while one of those stories was running. Games journalism and my spare time will be much poorer for the loss, and it remains to be seen which direction penny-arcade.com will take following this transition.

    Best of luck to all.

  • dennisdennis Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    For those who haven't seen it, Graham Stark has posted his response to the PA decision:

    http://loadingreadyrun.com/blog/2013/12/08/checkpoint-cleared/

    tl;dr They gave them plenty of notice, they're putting Checkpoint on hiatus because it takes a whole day to make each ep and they'd rather spend the time doing other things, PA is still helping them out with PAX and they aren't mad at PA.

    Also, Extra Credits' official response is "So long, and thanks for all the fish!" (via twitter). They said they're just going to keep on trucking making episodes available on youtube.

    dennis on
  • solomanisolomani Sydney, AURegistered User regular
    PA Report closing its doors? WHY!?

    This was such a great site for “filtering” other sites for game news.

    Good bye and thanks for all the fish!

    /mm

  • TheSunIsHotTheSunIsHot Registered User regular
    I am very sad to hear this is happening. I started checking this site far more regularly because of these great articles (comes up in my top 8 when I start chrome on my gaming PC now). I have no idea where I will get my game news now as other sites are hardly options. I hope Ben will keep us informed on where he is ending up next.

    I don't suppose the next PA kickstarter could include a "bring PA Report back" stretch goal?

  • FjonanFjonan Registered User regular
    Nooooooooooooooooooo :(( It breaks my heart that you are shutting PAR down. I came here every day to check on news, loved the long features and unique opinions. This truly is a big loss for me. Kudos and best to everyone involved, hope to see you around gaming journalism.

  • thegreathalthegreathal Registered User new member
    edited December 2013
    PAR has had some of the best gaming journalism out there. I'm shocked that PA would just shut you down like that. Sure, PAR was a weird fit with the main comic but this site was definitely a success. No hard feelings, but it's PA's loss.

    Tough market aside, no doubt you guys will be wanted elsewhere.

    thegreathal on
  • ellbentellbent Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    You know, the first time I read this I was pretty harsh, considering even though I've loved the PAR's dedication to finding substantial articles out there and perseverance on issue with/about 'gamer' culture, I personally didn't like Ben's way of handling some of his own articles sometimes. After thinking about it for a while, I realize that wasn't fair. I'd rather be conflicted at times with the people (person?) behind the Penny Arcade Report, and keep reading, than only be left with the ceaselessly aggregated garbage of some other related journalism sites.

    I'm sorry to see the PAR go, and I hope Ben lands in a place where he had just as much responsibility and exposure as he did here. They don't come around often.

    Oh, and Tycho's little post of wanting to "be Penny Arcade" (as opposed to supporting gaming journalism?) can seriously fuck off if the most he can come up with as examples for better uses of their time are merch-fodder comics too short to publish and some pieces of Penny-Arcade-brand 'flair.' Did that no-ad money run out already?

    ellbent on
  • tdamstdams Registered User new member
    I made an account just for this comment: image

  • psycokingpsycoking Registered User regular
    This is truly unfortunate. I understand why the masters of Penny Arcade would make this decision - there's never enough time to do everything we want - but it is still sad that they came to such a decision.

    Ben, I enjoyed the style and tone you and the other writers set for PAR. The writing was often personal and opinionated yet always maintained a high level of professionalism, which made PAR's articles seem honest and interesting even when I disagreed with the writer's opinion.

    I will be paying attention to see where you all land.

  • triftrif EdinburghRegistered User regular
    I'm genuinely disappointed with this decision. PAR was by no means perfect, but it very often hit a sweetspot in commentary that is all too rare on the internet. Yes, some people found things they disagreed with, and yes, people liked to express their displeasure vocally (shock, horror! On the internets?)... but it was always part of the conversation, and not the overriding noise.

    I read the comic, but PAR was always my portal to that. There are plenty of really good webcomics on the internet, but there is not a lot of thoughtful, intelligent games journalism. Well, there probably is; maybe there's just so much drech to wade through first that it's not worth the effort.

    Poor show PA, poor show.

    Honk iff you love formal logic! - - There are only 10 types of people in the world; those that understand binary and those that don't
  • AsaraAsara Registered User new member
    I've been reading PAR since the day it started but after a few days of letting the news sink in, this is finally what got me to register just so I can comment on the subject.

    It's incredibly disappointing to hear that - at least, what I consider - the best part of Penny Arcade outside of the comic is being shut down. I understand the closure of PATV, because everything (active) there already has its own website / Youtube channel anyways, but PAR? The Report is the only game news site that I read on a daily basis. Sure, there are plenty of other websites out there that serve the same purpose of PAR, but they're all just not as good.

    The part that really puts the rest to shame is that there are plenty of gaming sites that might have had a great start, but either became increasingly sensationalized, or had some major artsy-fartsy redesign that makes reading articles a chore, or just stop trying, (gaming cakes, anyone?) or some combination of these. When I load up PAR in my browser, I know you're not going to try to pull any of that nonsense on me, and I feel respected as a reader.

    Maybe you didn't fix game journalism, but the site was definitely a beacon amongst the vast majority of not-quite-good or downright awful gaming news sites.

  • ApePrioriApePriori Registered User new member
    Well, this is unfortunate news. I'm not sure how shutting PAR down is anything other than a loss and I can't say that I support the decision but I don't pay the bills either. Ben, if nothing else I know you'd be appreciated back at Ars... even if it's a temporary stint while you figure out your next move. Boo hiss on the shutdown but thanks for the great articles these last 2 years, solid and challenging games journalism is all too rare as it is.

  • DeeRageDeeRage Registered User new member
    Very dissapointed to see PAR go. This together with checkpoint has made me more than a little angry at PA. PAR and checkpoint were my two main reasons for coming to penny-arcade.com besides the comic.

  • mitEjmitEj Registered User regular
    Sorry to see this end. On the bright side I may be able to tone down my kickstarter addiction without you showing me all of these cool projects that I have to throw $ at. Good luck Ben. also @dayosh I did the same caption to that pic :)

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