"I just beat that boss on my first try. The state of game journalism is an absolute joke. Kotaku, IGN, Nerdist, all of these trash sites are filled with garbage cancel culture people. I can't wait for all of them to fold."— yellowflash on the Final Fantasy 7 remake demo
Kotaku is an East Asian pop culture-focused blogging website that was originally launched as part of the Gawker Media Network in 2004, it's currently part of Univision Communication's "Gizmodo Media Group" network of sites after Gawker applied for bankruptcy in 2016.
Kotaku frequently features social commentary and trivial articles alongside its gaming content. Its focus on fringe content brought it occasionally to interesting coverage of gaming scandals, but also involved it in several controversies. It's often brought up by GamerGate supporters as an example of bad journalism, and currently, its supporters are actively trying to convince Univision to shut it down for good.
Why It's Rotten
- Kotaku is more of a legitimate trolling site under the guise of a gaming news outlet.
- Some of their posts have nothing to do with either gaming or nerd-culture: more frequently, one can see random/irrelevant videos, cosplayer galleries, inside jokes, and discussions about the editors' personal lives.
- One journalist was so jealous of Aloy's looks in Horizon: Zero Dawn that she wrote an entire article praising her.
- They have a lot of clickbait articles, here's a good example.
- Editor Luke Plunkett was said to have reposted the same article on Project CARS over six times.
- Former writer Patricia Hernandez is perhaps the worst offender of all, see gallery below.
- The site is known for having random ban days where they ban people for fun. Sometimes, they even put bans on some accounts for no apparent reason.
- Much like with every other Gawker-related site, their articles have inappropriate content and lots of foul languages, as well as misinformation.
- They are known to be very corrupt.
- Nathan Grayson, one of Kotaku's writers, has positively covered Zoë Quinn in three of his articles without disclosing his friendship and eventual affair with her. Although it's not completely clear that Quinn entered the affair with him to get positive coverage in the first place, Grayson's act is still dishonest and apparently corrupt.
- Kate Gray, due to her far-left feminist views, hid an entire section of Jordan Peterson books and replaced them with feminist books without the permission of the bookstore.
- Former senior writer Patricia Hernandez wrote about her roommate, Anna Antrophy, six times without giving disclosure until much later.
- Luke Plunkett criticized detractors of the Call of Duty series by calling them "idiots", "obnoxious elitists", and "assholes" while his site was running an extensive CoD advertisement campaign. He was even insulted by Hideki Kamiya from Platinum Games for an article they wrote on him and other Japanese developers on pc gaming, to the point they had to update their article and apologize for misinformation and misrepresenting him and his fellow Japanese developers.
- Maddy Myers, one of the most notable writers, blamed Street Fighter for keeping her sexuality in the closet.
- The site disables comments for some of its articles.
- It's also known to start rumors and spread false information, which explains why companies like Bethesda Softworks, Sony, and Ubisoft have blacklisted it.
- Bethesda was so concerned about protecting the information of Fallout 76 that they gave Kotaku false information and, because of Bethesda being against corrupt journalism, they made Kotaku look like idiots online.
- There's another time when Kotaku published a fake story of a group of transgender women being blocked out from an online gaming tournament and when this was revealed to be fake, they had to apologize for this story.
- When Wolfenstein: Youngblood was released to negative reception, Kotaku claimed a Wolfenstein developer was harassed on Twitter over microtransactions and forced to private his account. He received 2 negative tweets total, both from the same person, both of which accused him of lying over a false tweet.
- Many of their articles are thinly veiled attempts to push SocJus and third-wave feminism ideology. And sometimes they'll even take things one step further.
- They slut-shamed and body-shamed attractive female characters in Soul Calibur VI due to their looks.
- After Cyberpunk 2077 made a joke mocking social justice warriors, Kotaku tried to get the Cyberpunk 2077 social media manager fired.
- They defend fake news and they even supported the Antifa assault against a journalist.
- They defended Ellen Pao after she was being called out by Reddit users for her abuse of authority and enforcement of censorship policies.
- They helped covered up NeoGAF's massive sex scandal. They additionally bought stolen user information from them.
- They accused Final Fantasy 7 remake of racism because of Barret's personality, claiming it to be overly stereotypical despite it being a positive portrayal of African American characters.
- They are very anti-Trump and they connect him to GamerGate, and claim GamerGate is "tied to white supremacy".
- Like Jezebel, they manage to find anything racist or sexist such as players leaving joke messages in Dark Souls.
- They also slammed Call of Duty: Cold War trailer which starred Yuri Bezmenov because it promoted 'far-right winged ideology' which is untrue and completely fits in what he is trying to address.
- Kotaku was owned by Gawker. For more information, see the respective page.
- They defended Twitch streamer Allinty for spitting Vodka into her cat's mouth. And they tried to discredit the people calling her out on the action.
- They sometimes bash various games, developers, or consoles for no good reasons:
- They called releasing video games on the Nintendo 3DS a waste of time, even though there still are 3DS games being developed and there is a variety of great games in the 3DS library. Such as Persona Q2.
- They also attacked Artplay for listening to player feedback to help improve the game. This is a mentality shared by many game journalists nowadays who believe that developers should do whatever they want instead of "bowing down to the demands of entitled fans".
- In their review about the Playstation 5 before it was released, staff writer Ian Walker decided to shame anyone, planning to buy the console by asserting that "there’s an irrefutable level of privilege attached to the ability to simply tune out the world as it burns around you."
- Like many modern game journalists, Kotaku dislikes difficult or challenging games for the mere reason that it takes time to complete them which means that they cannot produce as many low-quality articles as they normally can with easier games to reap ad revenue.
- They really hate it when games like Devil May Cry 5 are successful and they called it the holy grail of trash and they push hard games like the Souls genre to have an easy mode.
- Another series Kotaku has bashed is the Castlevania series and the Metroidvania genre in general for being challenging and for "not being inclusive or diverse enough".
- Similarly to VICE when they bashed Waluigi, they bashed Pikachu for being one of the ambassadors to help promote Osaka in Japan.
- Hypocritically, Kotaku prevents archiving sites from archiving their articles but uses the Wayback Machine when reporting some of their articles.
- Oddly, despite their name focusing on otaku interests and Japanese related subjects, they tend to bash JRPGs a lot and mock anime for having cute girls, in the name of Social Justice.
- They even support anti-consumer practices like micro-transactions and loot boxes. They have even insulted YouTubers who are against microtransactions in gaming.
- In a desperate attempt to stay relevant, Kotaku has adopted an irritation habit of stirring up controversy just for the sake of controversy. A recent example is when contributor Laura Kate Dale falsely accused the song "Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There" from the Persona 5 DLC in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for allegedly using the word "retarded" even though it was not in there at all (it's supposed to be "retorted", and if you put "retarded" into the context of the lyrics, you'll find that it makes little to no sense), despite getting a response from a Nintendo representative and the song already being in Persona 5 itself almost 3 years prior. This led to massive criticism against them, especially from the Persona 5 voice actors Erika Harlacher and Erica Lindbeck. Fans also accused Kotaku of racism for insulting the Japanese and their accent.
- To add insult to injury, Kotaku put up an "apology" article. Despite this, however, they didn't change the title of the original article whatsoever.
- They also try to stranglehold publishers like pqube into censoring their games.
- They defended the Chinese censorship in Hearthstone as a good thing which makes them Chinesetankies.
- They are also anti-American, having written an article attacking the US military.
- Although rare, they do have some good articles, like the troubled development cycle of X-Men: Destiny.
- They did find another pilot that Americanize Sailor Moon which hasn't surfaced on the internet until they found it.
- It has the highest amount of apparent issues recorded on Deepfreeze.it, with a total of 42.
- Even if one deducts the recorded amount of significant corrections efforts (in this case 6), it still has the highest amount of issues.
- They were one time invited for an event to showcase the gameplay of PREY, but the hosts found out that the invitation was an accident and they were quickly barred from entering the event considering that they are blacklisted.
- r/KotakuInAction - a subreddit infamous for making fun of anything rotten in Kotaku.