Penny Arcade Seeks Funds on Kickstarter to Make “Automata” into a Web Series

This week, Seattle-based Penny Arcade hit crowdfunding giant Kickstarter with a mission to raise $322,637 so that it can turn its comic Automata into an actual live action web series.

Penny Arcade shared:

Automata 2“Six years ago, we release this comic. Since then, it’s spawned two addition mini-series (Blood & Oil and Silverside), a dedicated base of fans, and even interest from Hollywood. The goal from the beginning – with any of our side projects – is to find someone who loved it enough and could dedicate the time necessary to fully flesh out the Automata universe.


“That happened pretty quick: before we knew it, we were in talks with a number of different movie studios. To us, is became not a matter of if , but when, we’d be able to buy a ticket and watch a very, very large Carl and Detective Regal brooding on a movie screen.”

Unfortunately, not everything was, as it seemed. The company revealed:

Automata 1“But after spending four years trying to do things the ‘Hollywood Way,’ we’ve learned one thing: It’s really, really hard to get a movie made. The negotiations, the moving parts, the politics… Even when we had a property optioned – another project called The New Kid – it’s not really a guarantee that anything will ever happen. The words ‘Period Piece’ and ‘Sci Fi’ together in close proximity give that town the hives. We found ourselves right back where we started.

Luckily, the masterminds at Penny Arcade were able to figure out how to fix the issues:

Automata 3“We went back to the drawing board, and with the help of friend and filmmaker Van Alan, we laid out the most pragmatic plan for what it would take to make an Automata series ourselves. Locations visited, scripts written, test footage shot – after two years of work from Van and his team, it started to seem like something we might actually be able to pull off.


“Making a live action mini-series is expensive, and maybe not a very good “investment” in the classic sense. An actual movie studio would have a “portfolio” of films where one or two hits covers the losses for the rest of their lineup. Well, THIS IS THE ONLY ONE WE HAVE. And it doesn’t have to make money – it just has to pay for itself.”

The company noted that the new series will tell an original Automata story over five webisodes. Each episode is set to be 10-12 minutes long. Funds will be used for the following:



Automata 4Rewards for backing the project include:

  • Digital download $25
  • Bluray and PDF: $50
  • Music Posters: $65
  • 10 Movie Stills: $80
  • Signed Script: $100

Since its launch, the campaign has received nearly $150,000. It is set to close on August 10th.


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