CheckPoint Cleared
December 8th, 2013

Posted by Graham

checkpoint_banner

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.

In the meantime, I hope that clears everything up, but please do ask me anything else on my own Twitter, or the LRR account.


55 Comments »

  1. And like the phoenix ENN will rise from the ashes!

    I wish that where the case anyway.

    Enjoy 2014 LRR, It’ll be intresting!

    Comment by Jacob — December 8, 2013 @ 4:45 am

  2. Perhaps the live show could be called The CheckPoint Newsroom, harkening back to the days of ENN.

    Comment by DewMan001 — December 8, 2013 @ 4:46 am

  3. I’m sad, because I liked checkpoint, but I understand the decision you made. Hope we can see it again soon but in the mean time you have so much other amazing stuff going on.

    Comment by No One in Particular — December 8, 2013 @ 5:09 am

  4. Unfortunate news, but I’m sure there will be plenty more great stuff to enjoy besides Checkpoint. It’s going to be a transformative year, no question.

    Comment by Kieran E — December 8, 2013 @ 5:18 am

  5. Good to hear you guys clear up all the big questions. A bit sad, but here’s hoping the YRR of LRR will make up for that!

    Comment by Lancer — December 8, 2013 @ 5:20 am

  6. Sad to hear. Checkpoint and ENN have been the main inspiration for my own fake news show.
    Which means I should expect lightning and Princes of the Universe at the end of the year.

    Make the last few episodes a ride to remember!

    Comment by unacomn — December 8, 2013 @ 6:22 am

  7. As much as a love Checkpoint maybe it going away just before the Year of LRR is a good thing. Extra time to work on making the last season of sketches the best they can be could be a blessing in disguise.

    Comment by Foxmar — December 8, 2013 @ 11:56 am

  8. I’m really saddened to hear that Checkpoint is going on hiatus. There are three videos I watch religiously each week: Checkpoint, Extra Credits, and Zero Punctuation. Now two of them are effectively gone, or at least “in doubt.”

    My initial reaction was “screw Penny Arcade: never going to frequent that site again.” I’m still inclined to drop PA from my daily viewing. But it is good to know that you folks had some advance notice.

    Best of luck in your other endeavours!

    Comment by Kelly — December 8, 2013 @ 12:50 pm

  9. Anyone want a Checkpoint Kickstarter?

    Comment by Elomin Sha — December 8, 2013 @ 12:57 pm

  10. Wow guys thats sad to hear, but I suppose every good thing must come to an end, I just hope you’ll be able to use the time left over to produce more awesome -ness !!

    Comment by Stuart — December 8, 2013 @ 4:49 pm

  11. Dammit, what is it about ENN style shows that always sees them cancelled? :( They’re my favourite thing you guys do!

    Comment by JackSlack — December 8, 2013 @ 5:34 pm

  12. Oh, and @Kelly: Extra Credits is still on. It will be self-hosted now, is all.

    Comment by JackSlack — December 8, 2013 @ 5:34 pm

  13. Change is good! :D

    Lets see what this brings, even if Checkpoint is gone, it does mean chances for new and exciting stuff in its place! Now 2014 seems like even more can be expected!

    Comment by Damniampretty — December 8, 2013 @ 5:46 pm

  14. I would never have supported the Kickstarter if I had known it would encourage you to do sketch comedy instead of CheckPoint. I would rather have contributed to that. Well, now I will never have to visit Penny Arcade again. Most pointlessly overrated site on the internet, and that’s saying a lot.

    Comment by Pugiron — December 9, 2013 @ 7:02 am

  15. That’s too bad. Checkpoint was always a bright spot on Monday morning. Thanks for doing it as long as you did and I hope you find a way to bring it back. If you ask for donations for it, via kickstarter or otherwise, I’ll be there. Best of luck to you in the future!

    Comment by Ryan — December 9, 2013 @ 8:40 am

  16. Im deeply saddened – CheckPoint is my favourite web show and one I watched religiously. Would you be proud (horrified?) to know it was my main source of gaming news?

    Please reconsider keeping it going! Even monthly or more intermittent episodes would be ok!

    :(…

    Comment by Greg — December 9, 2013 @ 8:49 am

  17. Checkpoint has been a highlight of many of my days over the last while, and introduced me to the wonderful stuff you all do. The news saddens me, but I look forward to your further ventures!

    Comment by Waffleyone — December 9, 2013 @ 10:53 am

  18. Dang, it was my favourite part of PA’s website… :\

    I REALLY hope you guys decide to keep it as an Youtube channel or something like that (or that you find someone willing to pay you guys!).

    Comment by Andre — December 9, 2013 @ 1:12 pm

  19. Aww, so bummed you had to go to the 3rd option. However more Magic drafts instead yes? as I blame all of you for getting me into it!

    Comment by Nazzle — December 9, 2013 @ 1:32 pm

  20. That’s really sad, CheckPoint was my favorite LRR show.
    I wish you’d done a test episode here to see how many viewers you’d get – but then I’m not in Internet Publishing and know neither where the viewers nor the money really come from.
    (Though I feel like your chance of getting the CheckPoint viewers to come over here is reduced drastically without, y’know, new content CheckPoint-wise.)

    Comment by GNRC_SRNM — December 9, 2013 @ 1:44 pm

  21. Keep doing it, request a plug on PA. I’ll watch.

    Comment by Protected — December 9, 2013 @ 3:08 pm

  22. I was a Penny Arcade fan but I started watching CheckPoint when it got posted on PATV. It was so much fun, that I’ve been completely converted. I’ll follow you wherever you go, LRR! You have my dubious digital sword!

    Comment by The Great Moof — December 9, 2013 @ 3:19 pm

  23. Out of curiosity. Might you be able to explain why Penny Arcade is cutting checkpoint if you’re being paid by a percentage of the ad revenue? It doesn’t seem like it’s taking money out of their pocket in that case. What is the cost that you incur upon Penny Arcade which they are trying to minimize?

    Comment by Fermat — December 9, 2013 @ 3:20 pm

  24. Fermat: Read the link at the top of Graham’s post to Penny Arcade. PA is, as a whole, cutting their third-party content to focus on self-produced content. It’s not about money at all.

    Comment by AJ — December 9, 2013 @ 3:51 pm

  25. I would actually consider subscribing to a paid youtube channel consisting of a weekly Checkpoint ep.

    Comment by Renaud Lepage (cybik) — December 9, 2013 @ 7:37 pm

  26. ^ Same, though I think it would be easier/better to Kickstart that shit.

    Comment by The Great Moof — December 9, 2013 @ 11:58 pm

  27. Like all good people everywhere, I now pray for the total failure of PA and all their staff.

    Comment by Pugiron — December 10, 2013 @ 1:08 am

  28. That’s such a shame. Checkpoint was the highlight of my Monday, just as Zero Punctuation is Wednesday’s bright spot. I’d be more than willing to fund a Kickstarter for it, or subscribe to a paid Youtube channel. Where else can you hear the gaming world’s wildest and wackiest news compressed into five minutes of fun?

    Comment by Cormac — December 10, 2013 @ 2:53 am

  29. Dangit, Checkpoint is my favorite LRR production, which is odd since ENN really did nothing for me. I’m with the people who would kickstart or pay a subscription to see it continue, but I get that with the YRR of LRR that’s not a high priority. Some sort of Checkpoint Live would be interesting, but the lower third was half the fun, that and your and Kathleen’s characters playing off of each other.

    Oh well, all good things come to an end eventually, I guess.

    Comment by Embyrr922 — December 10, 2013 @ 6:36 am

  30. Until you made this announcement I didn’t realize that basically the reason I went to PA was to watch you guys, Shut Up and Sit Down and Extra Credits, and just happened to read their front page and sometimes the comic while I was there.

    Well, this will certainly increase the number of sites I have to check for my videos, but I can counter that by dropping PA and PvP from my list, so it’ll work out as a wash!

    Comment by Clypheous — December 10, 2013 @ 9:53 am

  31. I am incredibly sad.
    CheckPoint was what led me to LRR, and while I love almost everything you do… CP has a special place in my heart. It was very much the light of my monday – the little spot of gaming entertainment which would get me through the most dreaded day of the week.
    I think it’s a real shame if you let it die.

    Comment by Jonathan — December 10, 2013 @ 10:56 am

  32. Checkpoint was definitely my gateway to other LRR content. Very sad to see it go.

    At the same point, axing PATV is the right decision for Penny Arcade. Let’s face it — Checkpoint was the only reliably consistent content they had. Despite its low production values it had the most professional attitude of anything there because it showed up every Monday and kept a steady pace. As much as I loved the Blamimations, they were nowhere near as reliable, and PA – The Series jumped the shark by the second season. Not a doubt in my mind that you guys were a major part of what kept it around for that long.

    I’ll have to console myself with Feed Dump, I guess.

    Comment by GypsySage — December 10, 2013 @ 12:36 pm

  33. Have you taken it to the Escapist? They already host three shows for you, it wouldn’t be all that bad for them to add a fourth to the line up. They are a good venue and get a lot of viewers. If it was not for The Escapist site I would not have ever seen your work and became a fan.

    Comment by Justin — December 10, 2013 @ 10:27 pm

  34. @Justin The show started on the Escapist in the form of ENN. I don’t remember why it moved from there to PA, but if had a good reason for doing so I can’t see it going back.

    Comment by Joe — December 11, 2013 @ 9:16 am

  35. This is very sad news. I understand PA’s reasoning, but Checkpoint was one of my favorite shows. I would definitely support a kickstarter to bring Checkpoint back.

    Comment by Robert — December 11, 2013 @ 7:05 pm

  36. I love Checkpoint. Once I discovered it a year ago I watched t religiously, constantly checking for new episodes. I’m really disappointed in PA for cutting this and PA Report. I didn’t watch the other shows on PATV, so you guys *were* PATV as far as I was concerned.

    I’ll denfinitely give your other shows a try, and will hope for new Checkpoint eps.

    Comment by chris — December 12, 2013 @ 4:05 am

  37. Kickstart Checkpoint! TAKE MY MONEY.

    Comment by toast. — December 12, 2013 @ 3:58 pm

  38. I will also give you money if it means more Checkpoint. I’ll understand if you make the same decision there that Penny Arcade did (focus on your other projects) but I will be sad.

    Comment by SparkSovereign — December 13, 2013 @ 5:22 pm

  39. Well Shit.

    Comment by Adan Roth — December 14, 2013 @ 12:10 am

  40. Checkpoint was how I first learned about you guys and I’m sad to see it go, but you guys do a lot of awesome stuff so keep it up!

    P.S. You guys should go On Point with Paul one more time before it’s all done!

    Comment by Neil — December 16, 2013 @ 4:03 am

  41. First and foremost, thank you! Thank you for all the smiles, laughs, and information that CheckPoint has brought me over the last year.

    Secondly, I know people are throwing around the word “kickstarter” a lot, but perhaps you’d consider doing a Patreon page for CheckPoint. Certainly I’d support this, and it appears from the comments that many would as well. I know you love sketch and live, but please consider that many of us love CheckPoint as much as that.

    Lastly, whatever path you choose to follow, whatever you choose to do, know that I’ll continue to follow you and throw lemons (or apples) to help feed you, even if it stinks. :)

    Cheers!

    Comment by Brian — December 16, 2013 @ 5:10 am

  42. Checkpoint is by far the best thing you do.

    Comment by emil — December 16, 2013 @ 6:09 am

  43. Checkpoint was the better part of any Monday. Sincerely hope it will return.

    Comment by Giuseppe — December 16, 2013 @ 9:11 am

  44. You guys and Extra Credits were the only shows I watched on PATV. I’m sorry to hear that Checkpoint is on hold indefinitely!

    (On the other hand, maybe I’ll finally check out your sketch comedy… If it makes me even half as happy as Checkpoint did, then I’ll be a very happy person indeed. x3 )

    Comment by Alana — December 16, 2013 @ 11:18 am

  45. So yeah. Bummed out, but I figured this was happening given the PA post. I love most (not a M:tG fan really) of the LRR content, but lately Checkpoint has been my favorite stuff. I like a quick weekly roundup of gaming news.

    Let’s hope the MMO Report doesn’t go offline too. …

    Comment by pfooti — December 16, 2013 @ 1:34 pm

  46. Disappointing news, indeed. I shall miss Checkpoint greatly.

    Please reconsider doing a Kickstarter for Checkpoint. I’m sure many people would like to contribute.

    Comment by MChen — December 16, 2013 @ 2:11 pm

  47. I’m sad to see checkpoint going on Hiatus as that was my favorite PATV show. I’ll continue to check your site and will def try to scrap up some funds to contribute to your kickstarter. Hopefully will see you all back, but if not, hope your other things are as enjoyable as checkpoint was. Gaming news at it’s best (short, sweet, but entertaining).

    Comment by Pezofdoom — December 16, 2013 @ 3:29 pm

  48. For what it’s worth, I would much rather have a million new episodes of Checkpoint than even one new episode of Strip Search

    Comment by hyperionDirective — December 16, 2013 @ 4:26 pm

  49. I’ll probably watch LRR occasionally, like i had previously, but I always like the production of CheckPoint. And the content. You did a great job with it,

    I’d definitely go out of my way to watch it where as I might not with LRR. Best of luck!

    Comment by Inhibit — December 16, 2013 @ 9:54 pm

  50. Love Checkpoint and sorry to see it on hiatus. Love your other stuff too and will continue to watch that. Hopefully you can bring the Checkpoint style back as I love the show!

    Comment by Kevin — December 17, 2013 @ 12:59 am

  51. I have made Checkpoint part of my week since the launch of PATV. I am disappointed to see it go. I hope your new project go well.

    Comment by Christopher D Drew — December 17, 2013 @ 10:03 am

  52. Just to give my 2 cents (we still have those here in the States), I originally found you one the Penny Arcade site, but I haven’t actually used that as a portal to view your videos in a very long time. I basically know/knew you were uploading on Mondays and would look at the PATV channel for CheckPoint instead (it was usually faster to do so on my slow connection anyways.)

    I’m curious just how many people actually relied on PATV for the thing, and how many would easily jump to wherever it landed next and keep watching as if it were just a URL change.

    Comment by Torakhan — December 17, 2013 @ 8:39 pm

  53. I am very disappointed to hear that Checkpoint is going away.

    I stopped going to PA for anything *but* Checkpoint at the beginning of this year, and by Autumn I had updated my browser link to just point to Checkpoint here at LRR, instead. This led to me reading and viewing your other content as well.

    So, if nothing else, know that you’ve gained viewers/readers as a result of this. Still, gutted to hear that I won’t have Checkpoint to watch every week.

    Comment by Lusipurr — December 18, 2013 @ 11:16 am

  54. that really sucks.

    Comment by dan l — December 19, 2013 @ 7:56 am

  55. Going to miss Checkpoint loads. It was my fave game news digest on the web, my only reason for visiting PA, and one of the few things I would have considered a paid subscription for on youtube.

    Will definitely check out the rest of the LRR content now.

    Keep at it.

    Comment by John — December 21, 2013 @ 6:33 pm

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