Apple To Epic: What’s A Kotaku?

Apple To Epic: What’s A Kotaku?
Image: HBO / Kotaku

Today, as part of the ongoing Epic v. Apple court case, Apple counsel Rich Doren, while cross examining Epic engineer Andrew Grant about a Minecraft Earth-related email chain between Epic employees, asked a very important question.

“Are you familiar with that website?” Doren asked in reference to a confusingly named website called Kotaku, from which one of the Epic employees had linked an article in the 2019 email chain. “What is that?”

Kotaku is a website that, uh, primarily covers gaming news,” replied Grant.

For additional information about what a Kotaku is, please go here.


    • I find this implied criticism kinda rose coloured. Usually what people seem to mean here, sometimes implicitly as with OP, but often explicitly, is that Kotaku has become all woke and hard left leaning… as if that wasn’t the case once upon a time in some golden age.

      I mean, Kotaku staff were both the target of and up to their eyeballs in defending against the GamerGate pile-on in 2014, and it would have surprised absolutely nobody which side of the debate Kotaku’s editorial line ran well before that time. It’s why it became a target.

      Looking at both googled and reposted Kotaku articles from both before and after, the editorial line simply hasn’t changed. What has changed is the comments sections.

      When once upon a time social justice articles received a pretty chilled reaction – sure there was a bit of disagreement, but it was rarely couched in angry, adversarial, bitter trolling. Over the last few years, however, comments have increasingly become more strident and hysterical and reactionary.

      What’s changed is the comments section, and participants in the comments sections, who now automatically read any social justice-related headline whatsoever to be some kind of implied personal, existential threat requiring immediate, forceful denunciation; usually tied up in sentiments about how much Kotaku has gone downhill and should be cancelled.

      No. Kotaku as a website hasn’t much changed, you have, and not for the better.

        • haha thanks for posting at the same time as my other comment, where I argued that it’s enough to just call things “woke”.

      • Great post.
        Gamergate started as a misogynistic hate campaign but was quickly leveraged by hard right political hucksters and expanded beyond gaming. What exists online now now mostly brigades games and media that doesn’t align with it’s narrow political view.
        Like you noticed that the attacks are existential. They aren’t detailed rebuttals of political arguments, it’s enough to say something is “woke”. The thrust is always that Kotaku should be cancelled.
        It’s like the attacks on Sarkeesian. Both her and Kotaku have often looked at games in a wider cultural context, and addressed the complaints of gamers who aren’t the stereotype. Those kind of arguments challenge the existing cultural hegemony. So the response is expressed hatefully, aggressively.

      • @angorafish
        “I find this implied criticism kinda rose coloured. Usually what people seem to mean here, sometimes implicitly as with OP, but often explicitly, is that Kotaku has become all woke and hard left leaning… as if that wasn’t the case once upon a time in some golden age.”

        I don’t know how you came to that conclusion about what I was saying.

        Let me clarify: I miss the Kotaku of 5+ years ago when there was less articles from the US and UK contributors, and there was a larger and more visible presence of Aussie contributors. There was a vodcast, semi-regular videos, and far more Aussie-written articles. There was none of those bloody videos in the middle of an article that are completely unrelated. There were numerous prominent video game journo and enthusiast identities. Let me press that that is in no way disrespecting Alex and the remaining local contributors whose content I appreciate, because if I didn’t I wouldn’t keep coming back!

        Whatever the content, whatever its subject, its agenda and political leaning, I read it. I appreciate the varied viewpoints to hear different voices and see different arguments. Some I agree with, some I don’t, but that’s the point of news media: it’s to inform.

        “No. Kotaku as a website hasn’t much changed, you have, and not for the better.”

        Wow. You literally don’t know me.

        • It’s true, I quite literally don’t know you, but I’ve been hanging around here a fair while and this kind of bullshit throwaway about “declining standards” is a multiple times a day occurrence. Seriously, just look at the thread immediately below yours.

          If you missed the fact that you were playing into that meme then perhaps you’re not as familiar with this website as you suggest. I have my doubts though, because we all know what the alleged lower quality “US and UK contributors” is code for, eh?

          Perhaps also reflect on what, exactly, you intended people to take away from with your throw-away 9 word post cause it sure as hell wasn’t contributing to a positive atmosphere around here, and it sure as hell made no references to pop up advertisements.

          But it’s easy, isn’t it, to dog whistle in a 9 word dump without having to actually defend it afterwards. Are you the kinda guy who takes a crap in the middle of the floor in parties then lets everyone know that, actually, you were only joking?

          Hey, I don’t know, just asking. I quite literally don’t know you.

          • You are insinuating and seeing things in my comments that are simply not there. Nothing is implied. There is no code talk or double speak. Take it at face value. I stand by my comments.

            And seriously, what is wrong with wanting to see and support local contributors?

          • Nothing mate, but you didn’t just ask for more local content, you expressly expressed a fondness for, quote, “less articles from the US and UK contributors”.

            Well, you’ll be happy to learn that there has been no new UK content since September last year.

            That aside, the “good” local authors have tended away from getting to involved in the social justice stuff, they’re just adding local flavour to a US-based website called Kotaku that has a lot more staff producing a lot more content. Asking for more local content and less international content is easy shorthand for asking for less social justice content, and by definition, less Kotaku content.

            The giveaway with your repeated denials is that more local content has no relationship to less international content – this is the internet, there is not a certain number of pages to fill.

            If you really appreciated “the varied viewpoints to hear different voices and see different arguments” you’d not be looking to turn the tap down on the US feed, you’d be asking for more local content, not just dog whistling that this website is “Not what it used to be”. Well, thanks anyhow for the two line joke. Hur hur hur.

  • – “Kotaku is a website that, uh, primarily covers gaming news,” replied Grant.

    The “uh” says it all.

  • I note that neither the .au link nor the equivalent us like actually answers the question What’s a Kotaku? I wonder if perhaps there once was a longer explanation that ended up dropping off as the page was updated with various staff changes.

    • There’s a specific US page that does actually answer that, but I changed the link (also because we have some weird redirect issues that break when linking to the US at the moment; it’s a whole thing).

      • I check that. Aus link

        US link

        I mean, the US link is a bit more explicitly titled “What’s a Kotaku? Who Works Here?” but the actual text is just the following:

        Thank you for reading Kotaku, a news and opinion site about games and things serious gamers care about. We’re here to inform you and, sometimes, entertain you.

        We aim to be an inclusive site for gamers of any ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. We expect our writers and commenters to treat those they write about as they would if they met them in person. For more on what that means, on the values we embrace and on what lines we expect writers and commenters not to cross, please read this. You might also be interested in Gizmodo Media’s Editorial Code.

        We crave news. We want scoops! So, please, tip your editors:

        (For tech support, please email

    • It needs to be redirected to a high quality shitpost. May as well make the court case more entertaining while we’re already having a laugh.

  • Dang I knew some people think Kotaku is toxic, but being partly responsible for the Chernobyl disaster is a bit extreme.

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