Chalk up another big milestone for the crowdfunding phenomenon.
Penny Arcade raised more than $528,000 from its fans in a Kickstarter campaign that ended yesterday, clearing the way for the Seattle-based webcomic and events company to remove all of the ads from its home page for a year. It’s a notable change in the company’s business model but also a return to its roots, when the site was run on donations from its readers.
People who pledged received a variety of creative prizes, including two donors at the $7,500 level who will get to be Penny Arcade interns for a year. We’ve heard of unpaid interns but people paying to be interns? That’s amazing, and a testament to the loyalty of Penny Arcade’s fans.
Among the other rewards, three people paid $5,000 for a Penny Arcade playdate — an evening of pizza and games at the company’s Seattle HQ. However, no one took them up on the offer to have Penny Arcade business chief Robert Khoo plan a donor’s bachelor party for a $7,500 pledge.
So what happens to the Penny Arcade sales reps?
“We’re going to shift them from ‘sell ad space’ jobs to ‘make things’ jobs,” said Penny Arcade in their Kickstarter FAQ. “That’s the company we intend to be. They were nervous at first, but now they can’t stop thinking about what’s next. It’s all human bandwidth we can put toward the next surprise.”
The Kickstarter campaign didn’t reach the $550,000 goal but artist Mike Krahulik wrote on the site that they would go ahead with a special “Daughters of the Eyrewood” comic strip that was the prize for that level, because the “story is too cool not to make.”
(Thanks to Isaac Alexander for the tip.)