The Fullbright Company won’t be attending the Penny Arcade Expo due to what it percieved as ‘anti-trans’ comments from one of Penny Arcade’s founders.
The controversy began when PA co-founder Mike Krahulik responded to an article criticising a game that taught and encouraged female masturbation for forgetting that “not all women have vaginas”.
“I seriously believe women have vaginas. I think you call a person with a vagina a woman,” he said over Twitter.
Krahulik’s remarks were seen by some as ‘cis-centric’, and have led to a heated debate on Twitter and other internet forums.
In response, indie developer The Fullbright Company has pulled its debut game, Gone Home, from the Indie Megabooth at PAX.
“We believe that people’s opinions and actions on social issues and business ethics are important,” reads an official company blog post.
“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.
"We have finally come to the conclusion that we cannot support Jerry, Mike, and their organisation by participating in this event.”
The Fullbright Company isn’t a big studio, and it says it doesn’t believe its stance will make big waves. By failing to attend what it sees as one of the biggest forces for indie games and games in general, it might be doing itself quite a bit of harm.
“This isn’t something we’re doing for practical reasons,” continued the blog post.
“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.”