I'm hoping I never regret this decision, but starting this month we are experimenting with monthly cash rewards!
I have had a lot of trepedation about this idea. Once money is involved, things change. Artists will start to "do it for the money" and will be resentful when they don't win. If we start to pick up on that, we will eliminate the prizes.
For years, Newgrounds was strictly a hobby for me. The idea of the site was never to make money. Over time, bandwidth bills continued to rise and earning money became part of keeping the site afloat. Nowadays, our hosting bills are in excess of $15,000 PER MONTH, so we can't afford to NOT make money.
NG had a really good year in 2004. After a long decline after the dot com crash, revenue finally came back with a vengeance! As a result, we can now afford to play around a little!
We tried a console contest a few months ago, but it became too difficult to send prizes to the winners - I kept running into declines on my card when I tried to ship to alternate addresses. Instead of awarding prizes, I'm just gonna send out checks from now on. At the end of February, I'll be writing FIVE checks for $250 each.
So read about the contest and submit some Flash! Just remember, we don't want to see anyone turn into a greedy ass over this. Having your Flash seen by thousands (potentially millions) of people is the reward. Cash prizes are just the icing on the cake!