Oregon-based indie team The Fullbright Company won't be showing off its rather awesome-looking first-person exploration drama Gone Home at PAX Prime this year, due to the four-person studio's unanimous disagreement with Penny Arcade organisers over "a number of issues."
As detailed on the studio's blog, these issues range from the "dickwolves" fiasco years ago where a rape joke - and the brouhaha that emitted from it - got out of hand, to the publication's controversial Kickstarter campaign that rewarded backers of $7500 the privilege of being an intern for a day (amazingly, two people purchased this).
More recently Fullbright took issue with Penny Arcade's reaction to the art in Dragon's Crown and its astonishingly greenlit description of a PAX Australia panel entitled "Why So Serious?" that read: "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?" (The description has since been modified.)
So all four members of The Fullbright Company decided to pull the plug on its PAX invite. "We believe that people's opinions and actions on social issues and business ethics are important," said studio founder Steve Gaynor. "We believe that agreeing to pay the organisers of PAX over $1000 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 organisation by participating in this event."
"We are a four-person team. Two of us are women and one of us is gay. Gone Home deals in part with LGBT issues. This stuff is important to us, on a lot of different levels. And Penny Arcade is not an entity that we feel welcomed by or comfortable operating alongside."
"We wish all the best to the organisers and participants in the Indie Megabooth, as we really do believe that it is an incredibly positive force for indie games and video games in general," Gaynor added. "We just wish it weren't at PAX."