Many of you have already read this post on Penny Arcade, but if you haven’t please do because I think it’s important to hear Jerry’s own words.
I will however also summarize: PA has decided to shift their focus internally, and cease third-party content like outside-produced shows on PATV, and their gaming news site The Penny Arcade Report. For us, this specifically means that CheckPoint no longer has a home there.
We were out of town when PA announced these changes, so we couldn’t get a coherent blog post up until now, but we wanted to fill you in, and I’m going to start by addressing the three biggest questions Kathleen, myself, and the LoadingReadyRun main account received on Twitter:
- We knew this was happening. Folks, Robert Khoo and PA aren’t irresponsible businesspeople. Everyone involved knew over a month ago that this was forthcoming, this did not just get sprung on us yesterday. I know it’s a surprise—maybe even a shock—to you, our wonderful viewers, but we were aware. Don’t misunderstand me, we are still bummed about losing a home for CheckPoint, but we’re still friends with the PA staff and we’re not sore about this decision—these things happen. Though, for your interest, this was not factored into the Kickstarter budgeting, we did not know then. But that brings me neatly to point two…
- We did not rely on CheckPoint for revenue. It was a part of our overall revenue stream, certainly, but were not actually under a fee-per-episode contract for CheckPoint—our money came from a share of ad revenue. We do CheckPoint because we love doing it, we have the time, it’s a great platform for our content, and (to be honest) it’s incredibly useful for us to have a table at PAX’s Bandland, where we can meet our fans and sell merch. And that remains the case, PA is still providing us PAX passes and a Bandland space, and for that we thank them immensely. The takeaway here is, we are not in financial danger with this cancellation. Many fans of CheckPoint (love you all) aren’t really aware of all our other content. Hopefully they get to see it now
- Strip Search is a Penny Arcade in-house production, and a second season has always been their decision. We did the legwork, certainly, but Strip Search is a first party property of PA, whereas we own CheckPoint. If a second season happens (riding heavily on DVD sales, watch the skies for info on that) we hope to be involved, but it’s not our baby.
So! What is the future of CheckPoint? Well, we basically had three options.
- Keep doing it ourselves, hope to retain a fraction of the viewership. To rely on the ad revenue for the views we would get, a risky option.
- Find a new home for the show, willing to pay us some amount of fee. Still a very real possibility, certainly. Something we are not ruling out.
- Put the show on an indefinite hiatus, and use the time to focus on our 2014 Kickstarter-funded year of sketches and live-streaming. This is where we landed.
Between meeting, writing, shooting, graphics, and editing, CheckPoint basically took Paul, Kathleen, and I an entire day. We feel that, in the face of the Kickstarter and all the amazing things we have planned for the live-streaming, we can better use that time, now that we have it.
Who knows, maybe we can make one of our live shows a sort of “CheckPoint Live”, where we lambast dumb gaming news in a more casual format. It’s on the table, at least.