Type of site
|Created by||Brian Crecente|
Kotaku was first launched in October 2004 with Matthew Gallant as its lead writer, with an intended target audience of young men. About a month later, Brian Crecente was brought in to try to save the failing site. Since then, the site has launched several country-specific sites for Australia, Japan, Brazil and the UK. Previous contributors to the site include Luke Smith. Crecente was named one of the 20 most influential people in the video game industry over the past 20 years by GamePro in 2009 and one of gaming's Top 50 journalists by Edge in 2006. The site has made CNET's "Blog 100" list and was ranked 50th on PC Magazine's "Top 100 Classic Web Sites" list. Its name comes from the Japanese otaku (obsessive fan) and the prefix "ko-" (small in size).
Kotaku was one of several websites that was purchased by Univision Communications in their acquisition of Gawker Media in August 2016; Gizmodo Media Group was subsequently founded to house the Gawker acquisitions, operating under the Fusion Media Group, a division of Univision. The Gizmodo Media Group was later acquired by the private equity firm Great Hill Partners in April 2019, and renamed G/O Media.
The transition to G/O Media had let to several departures from the site, as well as from other sister sites under the form Gawker Media label due to conflicts with G/O Media's management. Cecilia D'Anastasio left Kotaku in December 2019 to become a journalist for Wired. Joshua Rivera and Gita Jackson left in January 2020 stating it was impossible to work with the new management. Jason Schreier, one of Kotaku's writers since 2012 known for in-depth coverage of working conditions at various studios and development histories for various games, announced his departure from the site on April 16, 2020, citing the issues surrounding G/O Media which filtered into disruptions at their sister website Deadspin around October 2019. Schreier subsequently took a position at Bloomberg News. In May 2020, senior writer Heather Alexandra departed from Kotaku, similarly citing conflicts with management, and joined Double Fine Productions as their content and community manager. Kotaku UK was to close in September 2020 
In 2007, attorney Jack Thompson sued Gawker Media and site editor Brian Crecente over concerns that Kotaku declined to remove threatening user comments, but the lawsuit was dismissed the next day. In 2009, Business Insider reported that Hearst Corporation sought to buy Kotaku from Gawker Media. In 2010, Kotaku criticized Japanese magazine Famitsu's glowing endorsement of a Konami game as a conflict of interest; Konami subsequently revoked Kotaku's invitation to the game's launch party. In 2013, Forbes criticized Kotaku over what they called an inflammatory headline in a story about Hideki Kamiya; Kotaku rewrote the headline.
In 2007, Kotaku ran a story about rumored upcoming features on the PlayStation 3, and Sony responded by temporarily blacklisting the website. The site claimed in 2015 that they had been blacklisted by major game companies Bethesda Softworks and Ubisoft.
In 2014, Kotaku was part of the accusations that instigated the Gamergate controversy when a writer from the site, Nathan Grayson, was alleged to have written a favorable review of the game Depression Quest due to his relationship with its developer, Zoë Quinn. After conducting an internal review, it was discovered that no review of Depression Quest existed and he had only written one article that mentioned her in passing before their relationship began. The subreddit /r/KotakuInAction became a hub for the Gamergate community. Its creator attempted to shut it down in 2018, claiming that it had become a "viral cancer", but it was reinstated by a Reddit administrator due to the site's guidelines.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 22, 2016. Retrieved December 21, 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Carr, David (October 4, 2004). "At These Web Sites, It's a Man's World". The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 4, 2014. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
- Parker, Pamela (October 4, 2004). "Gawker Media: We're Where the Boys Are". ClickZ. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
- "Kotaku". November 9, 2004. Archived from the original on November 9, 2004.
- "GAMING'S TOP 50 JOURNALISTS". Edge. October 17, 2006. Archived from the original on February 3, 2014. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
- Shuman, Sid (May 2009). "20 Most Influential People in Gaming: #20 – Brian Crecente". IDG. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved July 12, 2009.
- "CNET News.com'S Blog 100". CNET. Archived from the original on July 13, 2012. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
- "The Top 100 Classic Web Sites". PC Magazine. Archived from the original on February 1, 2014. Retrieved January 25, 2014.
- "Kotaku FAQ". Kotaku. Gawker Media. July 2, 2004. Archived from the original on July 15, 2007. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
- Reynolds, John (March 13, 2014). "Gawker links up with Future to launch Lifehacker and Kotaku in UK". The Guardian. Archived from the original on July 22, 2015. Retrieved July 22, 2015.
- Caoili, Eric (January 3, 2012). "Consumer gaming blog Kotaku loses key staff". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on February 19, 2014. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
- Calderone, Michael (August 18, 2016). "Gawker.com Ending Operations Next Week". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on October 16, 2016.
- Ha, Anthony (April 8, 2019). "Gizmodo Media Group acquired by private equity firm Great Hill Partners". TechCrunch. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
- D'Anastasio, Cecilia (December 5, 2019). "Goodbye". Kotaku. Retrieved April 16, 2020.
- Jackson, Gita (January 10, 2020). "Goodbye From Josh and Gita". Kotaku. Retrieved April 16, 2020.
- Park, Gene (April 16, 2020). "Jason Schreier is leaving Kotaku, citing G/O Media as reason". Washington Post. Retrieved April 16, 2020.
- Alexandra, Heather (May 8, 2020). "To The Horizon". Kotaku. Retrieved May 22, 2020.
- McCarthy, Caroline (April 26, 2007). "Gaming foe Jack Thompson sues Gawker Media". CNET. Archived from the original on February 1, 2014. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
- McCarthy, Caroline (April 27, 2007). "Judge tosses out Jack Thompson's lawsuit against Gawker Media". CNET. Archived from the original on February 1, 2014. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
- Carlson, Nicholas (November 13, 2009). "Hearst Eyed Videogame Blog Kotaku For Acquisition". Business Insider. Archived from the original on February 3, 2014. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
- Quillen, Dustin (April 26, 2010). "Konami Shuns Blog Over Metal Gear Review Controversy". 1up. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
- Kain, Erik (January 9, 2013). "Kotaku And The Problem With Inflammatory Headlines In Video Game Blogging". Forbes. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
- Kohler, Chris (March 1, 2007). "Sony and Kotaku In Blacklist Flap". Wired.com. Archived from the original on July 27, 2010. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
- Totilo, Stephen. "A Price Of Games Journalism". Kotaku. Archived from the original on November 20, 2015.
- Rott, Nathan (September 24, 2014). "#Gamergate Controversy Fuels Debate On Women And Video Games". NPR.org. Retrieved July 27, 2019.
- "In recent days I've been asked several times about a possible breach of ethics involving one of". Kotaku. Retrieved June 14, 2020.
- Bernstein, Joseph (October 30, 2014). "The Disturbing Misogynist History Of GamerGate's Goodwill Ambassadors". Buzzfeed News. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
- Singal, Jesse (October 20, 2014). "Gamergate Should Stop Lying to Itself". New York. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
- Alexander, Julia (July 13, 2018). "Reddit employee saves GamerGate subreddit, KotakuInAction, after founder closes it". Polygon. Retrieved July 27, 2019.