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The Fullbright Company won’t be showing Gone Home at PAX Prime


The Fullbright Company are working on a beautiful little game called Gone Home. You may have heard about it already, and perhaps even were looking forward to seeing it at PAX Prime. Today Fullbright added a post to their blog explaining that they have decided to pull out of PAX. Their reasons are pretty compelling. 

PAX Prime is run by Penny Arcade, a company whose founders have been causing a little bit of controversy over the past few years. Mike Krahulik – the artist of the Penny Arcade webcomics – was once asked how he felt “actively encouraging rape culture” in regards to his Dickwolves fiasco, to which he responded “pretty good”. The team recently ran a Kickstarter to raise money Penny Arcade, with the $7,500 tier reward being a one-day internship at Penny Arcade. (for context, I once interned for a whole month at GameSpot for the price of zilch)

Yesterday a panel was announced for PAX Australia that will be called “Why So Serious?”. Apparently the panel is not an in-depth look at Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker, but looking at the apparently important issue of: “Any titillation gets called out as sexist or misogynistic, and involve any antagonist race aside from Anglo-Saxon and you’re called a racist. It’s gone too far and when will it all end?”. It seems like this panel was the final straw for Fullbright. They cite all these actions by Penny Arcade and a few more as reasons why the indie developer feels uncomfortable displaying their game at PAX Prime’s Megabooth.

“This morning we stopped pushing those long-held reservations about Jerry and Mike into the back of our minds. We talked to each other and did a simple show of hands– do any of us feel comfortable presenting Gone Home at PAX? No hands went up.” said Steve Gaynor on the Fullbright Company blog.

“We believe that people’s opinions and actions on social issues and business ethics are important. We believe that agreeing to pay the organizers of PAX over $1,000 for booth space, and to present our game on their showfloor for four days, provides explicit support for and tacit approval of their publicly demonstrated positions on these subjects. And we have finally come to the conclusion that we cannot support Jerry, Mike, and their organization by participating in this event.”

Fullbright’s four-person team includes two women and one gay member, and their game Gone Home includes some LGBT themes. This adds context to their decision (if anymore context was needed other than disagreeing with offensive behaviour), with Steve mentioning that “Penny Arcade is not an entity that we feel welcomed by or comfortable operating alongside.”

You might not be able to see Gone Home at PAX Prime then, but you can still have a look at its mysterious, artful world on the Fullbright Company website, or by watching the trailer below.