Oregon-based Fullbright Company posted on their blog today that they will not show their game at PAX Prime in Seattle despite securing a spot in the coveted Indie Megabooth showcase. Gone Home, their game currently in development, will not be part of the convention and Fullbright Company members will not attend the event.
Studio co-founder Steve Gaynor cited numerous reasons for not participating at PAX. The issues center on what he considers to be the ethical failings and gender insensitivity of Penny Arcade creators Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins.
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.
This would not be the first time that actions from Penny Arcade’s creators have caused issues for their PAX event. In 2010, there was a controversial comic which some people objected to and the ensuing Twitter war between Krahulik and rape survivor support groups got ugly. A boycott of PAX was organized, but attendance records were still broken.
In response to this latest incident, Krahulik posted an apology on the Penny Arcade site, vowing to remain silent on issues outside of his immediate realm.