Game Over for Kotaku UK
The problem is gamers just want to play games; they have no interest in politics or in seeing social justice injected into their hobby.
Case in point is the closure of the controversy-laden Kotaku U.K., the British arm of the prominent media outlet.
Kotaku U.K. was one of several of the U.K.-based Future Publishing’s forays into the online gaming space. Founded in 2014, the publisher picked up localized rights to the Kotaku brand and worked in partnership with its U.S.-based counterparts, with its own writing staff and editorial direction. Unlike the original Kotaku, which also hosts some social justice-oriented articles, the U.K. version was prominent in its promotion of progressive political activism.
While it would be irresponsible to pin the blame entirely on certain writers, the site attained no shortage of infamy when it made routine accusations of “transphobia” about games like Cyberpunk 2077, Persona 5 and Catherine — among many other transgressors.
For most, the site’s closure came as no surprise. The news was overwhelmingly met with celebration on social media. Nothing of value was lost — and gamers found nothing they liked about Kotaku U.K.
Various writers hired for Kotaku U.K. were employed purely for nepotistic reasons rather than for their talents. They used the platform to push their politics down the throats of unassuming readers, who by and large visit the site to find news and information about the games they enjoy.
As Kotaku U.K. was part of a larger organization, it was seemingly used as a stepping-stone for writers to push their agenda and garner internet clout by writing inflammatory articles. Following the inevitable backlash of negative feedback for their opinions, these level nine nonbinary woke druids would become outraged and claim to be victims of an “Alt-Right Gamer” conspiracy, a narrative they have pushed endlessly in the media to demonize anyone who disagrees with them.
For game creators who refuse to conform to the woke agenda, the choice seemed to be either shut up or lose your business. You and your company will be at the mercy of game critics who write article after article, thread after thread on the internet about how toxic your game is. Like a racket, that was how Kotaku U.K. operated, and that’s how many other gaming sites operate today.
In reality, the choice is actually simple — ignore them. As these journalists and their ilk are not the ones driving profit for your company. They’re not the ones buying games. They’re not the ones even playing them.
The truth is woke game journalists are full of wind and bluster, signifying nothing. They don’t have the influence they claim to have, just a platform that’s constantly derided and mocked by the gaming community. Their supposed clout in the industry wasn’t even enough to keep the lights on at Kotaku U.K.
The opinions of game journalists, unpopular as they are, are constantly highly ratioed on social media. Most engagement they receive is negative. It’s a regular sight to witness on social media as droves of people work to challenge their harmful and unfounded clickbait assertions, only for the writers to avoid scrutiny altogether and privatize their accounts, while they wait for the embers of the fire they caused to cool down.
As for the publishers themselves, in order for them to garner trust again with their readers, they should go back to the roots of what made them successful to start with and write articles without an agenda and do some actual reporting on the games themselves.