The Penny Arcade comic is officially distancing itself from PAX, the yearly gaming convention held in Seattle, Boston and Melbourne. Co-creator Mike Krahulik announced the split in a blog post
, as part of his New Year's resolution to be less of "a bully”.
"You'll notice that it is no longer the Penny Arcade Expo," Krahulik writes. "It's outgrown us and it belongs to the gaming community at large now not just PA fans. Someday I expect to attend a PAX and not even be recognized. That's honestly fine with me. I don't want the material on PA or who I am to keep people from attending and enjoying PAX."
Penny Arcade similarly distanced itself from the charity it started, Child's Play, when Krahulik and co-creator Jerry Holkins realized the comic's content was impeding the charity's outreach, Krahulik says. Child's Play is now its own organization that Penny Arcade supports from afar.
Krahulik has admitted his resolution is the result of a difficult year with the media where he received negative public attention for things he said on on social media, the Penny Arcade blog and at PAX.
In 2010, Penny Arcade ran a comic that made light of rape, and Krahulik and Holkins responded to outcry by selling merchandise supporting the strip – the "dickwolves" debacle. Krahulik and Holkins removed the dickwolves merchandise from its stores, but on a panel at PAX Prime 2013, Krahulik said that pulling the merch was a mistake and sparked another outcry.
"I've learned a ridiculous amount this year," Krahulik's resolution reads. "About myself and about other people. It's been a difficult year, probably the hardest in my life and I realize I brought most of it on myself. That's a sobering realization. I also realize that I've made it harder for the people I care about, my friends and my family. I can't be this guy anymore."
Krahulik seems genuinely remorseful and has taken himself out of the picture to give PAX the chance it deserves as a show that unites gamers across continents. It’s a commendable departure that will hopefully put a better light on the show after a hard and very critical 2013.
News via JOYSTIQ