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Penny Arcade Kickstarter divides the internet

Popular webcomic Penny Arcade has launched a Kickstarter campaign — so that the site can be run without ads.

Popular webcomic Penny Arcade has launched a Kickstarter campaign — so that the site can be run without ads.

(Credit: Penny Arcade)

Called "Penny Arcade Sells Out", the campaign, as explained on the page, is designed to cut out advertising from the Penny Arcade website.

The base goal of the campaign is US$250,000, for which Penny Arcade would remove the top banner ad on the homepage.

Only if the team raises US$525K will all ads on the homepage be removed — and ads across the entire site will only be removed if the campaign raises US$999,999.

The content of the site, if only the base goal is reached, would not change — it's not until the US$325K mark is reached, that an extra six-page comic is on the cards.

The proposal has the internet in an uproar, with some claiming that Penny Arcade is using its popularity to abuse Kickstarter. And, given the Kickstarter guidelines, they may have a point.

1. Funding for projects only.
A project has a clear goal, like making an album, a book or a work of art. A project will eventually be completed, and something will be produced by it. A project is not open-ended. Starting a business, for example, does not qualify as a project.

Further down:

3. Prohibited uses:
No charity or cause funding. Examples of prohibited use include raising money for the Red Cross, funding an awareness campaign, funding a scholarship or promoting the donation of funds raised, or future profits, to a charity or cause.

No "fund my life" projects. Examples include projects to pay tuition or bills, go on vacation or buy a new camera.

And on the Penny Arcade Sells Out FAQ:

A million dollars seems like a lot of money, where's it all going?

Advertising paid for rent, wages, health insurance, utilities, all the normal stuff that you pay for when you have fourteen souls working together. That money keeps the lights on while we do the things people expect from us: thrice weekly content drops, two annual shows, the scholarships, Child's Play, etc.

Although Gabe has claimed that Kickstarter okayed the project, CNET Australia has contacted Kickstarter for comment.

There is an in-depth discussion on the Penny Arcade forums here and a discussion on Eurogamer here.

What do you think? Tacky cash grab or reasonable funding option? Sound off in the comments below.