Home Gaming Kotaku calls out blacklisting, Gamergate goes insane

Kotaku calls out blacklisting, Gamergate goes insane

3 min read

I woke up to some entertaining news this morning with an interesting post by Kotaku about being blacklisted by Ubisoft and Bethesda. Apparently Kotaku have been quietly blacklisted because they posted leaked information about both Fallout 4 and Assassin’s Creeds Unity and Syndicate

And this has brought the informal movement known as #Gamergate out swinging. The movement that claims it exists because of a lack of ethics in games journalism seems to have taken a serious dislike to the fact that Kotaku has called out these two publishers.

According to one of the “more respected” supporters of Gamergate, Mark Kern, the article is simply a complaint that Kotaku is  no longer being treated with preferential treatment. His main idea is below but if you want more information feel free to read through his tweets above, I generally enjoy his view on gaming in general but this time I completely disagree with him.

I have a real issue with publishers blacklisting media outlets. We have our own history of certain publisher’s games just drying up and even had another publisher flat out say they won’t work with us. I’d name and shame them but they never followed through with that empty threat so it would serve no purpose.

There are two sides to the issue though. On the one hand it is the publishers’ games and so they can do with it as they please. If they don’t think we will give their game positive coverage then why should they send it to us? But on the other hand that ideology creates a media environment that continues to reward those outlets which have no ethics and will happily post only positive information.

It’s a horribly messy industry in reality, where claims of collusion and dodgy reporting are rife and the matter of ethics in journalism has turned into a year-long battle that has spawned more hatred than century old football rivalries.

In my ideal world review copies of games would have to be handed out, at the same time, to all media outlets of a certain size. Whether the publisher likes the outlet or not shouldn’t come into it and controlled media events wouldn’t exist, as it is extremely hard to remain unbiased when surrounded by an army of PR people.

The same time thing is the most important part of that though. Nothing irritates me more than seeing IGN getting early access while we have to sit on our hands until release date. Or seeing Gamespot post a review a full 24 hours before our embargo; it breeds corruption and needs to be stamped out.

So I for one applaud Kotaku for calling out both Ubisoft and Bethesda for withholding review copies and access to developers. It’s unethical and hopefully they re-assess their position.  It’s not right that the entire gaming industry be held to the carefully planned marketing plans of the publishers and their PR departments.

As for Stephen Totilo’s claim that that the worst part is that neither of these companies will respond to his requests for information. Sorry buddy, they aren’t going to help you after all the “bad press” you gave them. That’s just journalism for you.

Last Updated: November 20, 2015


  1. Hammersteyn

    November 20, 2015 at 09:47

    Writing an article about it where you openly call out Bethesda and Ubisoft will probably lead to them ignoring Kotaku further. This should have been handled behind the scenes and if they tried and failed then that’s that. Try again in two years time. Seems Sony and Konami blacklisted them as well at one point O_o


    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      November 20, 2015 at 09:53

      If I remember what I read this morning they did try. I think it’s worthwhile knowing that all the big sites who get review copies are the sites publishers like. Because why do they like some and not others?


  2. Jac7

    November 20, 2015 at 09:48

    It is a well-written article by Stephen Totilo. He doesn’t badmouth Bethesda or Ubisoft, merely stating what they’ve been experiencing over the last couple of years. And they are addressing the question raised by their readers – “Kotaku, why aren’t you publishing your reviews for Bethesda and Ubisoft games on the same day as everyone else?” Question asked. Question answered. And I highly doubt that they would publish an article like this without carefully considering the consequences of doing so.


    • BakedBagel

      November 20, 2015 at 12:54

      “And I highly doubt that they would publish an article like this without carefully considering the consequences of doing so.”

      You know Kotaku is Gawker right.
      When has Gawker ever thought of the consequences of publishing.. well anything?


      • NeoTechni

        November 22, 2015 at 00:51

        You mean like that time they doxed all gun owners in new York resulting in a woman getting reunited with her ex stalker that she worked so hard to get rid of? Or that time they falsely accusing Brad wardell of rape? Or that time they falsely accused the guy from cards against humanity of rape? Then joined the false accusations of rape against the uva frat? Then joined the false rape accusations from the mattress girl? Or that time they published hulk Hogan sex video and ignored a court decision to have it taken down and are now being sued for millions? Or that time multiple reporters of theirs were caught sleeping with devs whose games they covered, one of which had multiple games reviewed highly, and upon being caught they decided the correct course of action was to attack all gamers thus causing gamergate?

        Tldr: no, they never think of the consequences


  3. Alien Emperor Trevor

    November 20, 2015 at 09:48

    Sometimes I think there’s a lot of gamers who’d be much happier if games journalism didn’t exist, and all we did was read press releases direct from the publishers, or regurgitated by compliant enthusiasts. Because any criticism of the precious is badong.


    • NeoTechni

      November 22, 2015 at 00:52

      Kotaku wasn’t blacklisted for criticism, they were blacklisted for being unethical


      • A Olson

        December 4, 2015 at 12:23

        Doing a story on leaks isn’t unethical, dumbass. Catering to every whim of the people you cover, is.


        • NeoTechni

          December 4, 2015 at 20:52

          Yes it is

          1) They included spoilers, 2 years in advance

          2) They claimed it was indicative of development problems, 2 years in advance. With that much warning, any issues are irrelevant as they have tons of time to deal with them

          3) The information came from someone violating their NDA, a crime

          4) Bethesda had devoted resources towards the marketing of revealing the information, that was now wasted.

          5) Kotaku has also insulted the company, lied about them, and tried to shoehorn their own politics into interviews, then blamed bethesda/ubisoft for not falling for it. In general, they’ve been all-around dicks to multiple companies and act like it’s ok

          6) Would you blame Hulk Hogan for not talking to Kotaku after they leaked his sex tape?


  4. HvR

    November 20, 2015 at 09:51

    If you bite the hand that feeds you, do not be surprised if that hand smacks you on the nose and no longer throws you a bone.

    Kotaku has a long history of being the first to leak something so it is understandable if companies n o longer want their employees to have contact with them.


  5. Alien Emperor Trevor

    November 20, 2015 at 09:58

    Remember the other day our glorious government was sulking about the press being mean and said they’d withdraw their advertising from newspapers that hurt their feelings?


    • Hammersteyn

      November 20, 2015 at 10:00



    • Gavin Mannion

      November 20, 2015 at 10:02

      I see nothing wrong with pulling advertising by private companies though. Government is a lot more complex


      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        November 20, 2015 at 10:18

        They can spend their advertising money however they want, The problem comes in when two independent sites are reviewing a private company’s products, then advertising gets withdrawn from one because of unknown reasons. You’re supposed to trust a site’s reviews aren’t influenced by money – which advertising spending is. It’s about perception.


        • Tehy

          November 22, 2015 at 00:56

          Alien Emperor Trevor, this case doesn’t even have anything to do with negative reviews. It has to do with leaking inside information that they shouldn’t have been given in order to get more clicks, which pisses off the gaming companies who want to build tension not have a single leak shatter it all

          so they decided, fuck kotaku. their right, their privilege, and really, FUCK kotaku so who cares


  6. Dr Dub

    November 20, 2015 at 10:03

    You make the mistake of assuming that these sites are a consumer press.

    They aren’t. They are a trade press that runs for the benefit of the industry.

    I don’t trust the recommendations of Kotaku or IGN, I do very much treat their reviews as glorified press releases. The publishers might as well cut them out entirely, send me press releases directly and produce their own YouTube videos with preview footage.

    The gaming sites are “free” to the consumers and as the saying goes, that means that YOU are the product. They exist as a middle man to push ads and marketing material to consumers.

    Kotaku didn’t play the game as it were. They leaked info as well as smearing the industry’s creators and consumers for political reasons.

    I have zero sympathy.

    Please don’t try and dress this up as being bad for the consumer because that argument assumes that they provided much of value to the consumer in the first place. Sites like Kotaku exist to provide a service and value to the industry. That is why they exist almost entirely on industry money.

    As I say, I visit IGN as it is a centralised hub for reading press releases and seeing game footage. As surveys have demonstrated, only 3% of gamers are daft enough to actually use such sites as a source of purchasing guidance.

    If I want guidance I watch unedited let’s plays, ignore what the player is saying and make my own mind up.


    • Gavin Mannion

      November 20, 2015 at 10:24

      There is a current belief that youtubers and let’s plays help sales.. however this has been proven to be false. So to say they are used to make purchasing decisions is actually incorrect


      • Dr Dub

        November 20, 2015 at 10:29

        Yes the survey showed they don’t significantly influence decisions. They perform the same service as the gaming sites. Just a better format.

        They are still “free” and I am therfore the product and the industry are their customers.

        If they annoy their customers they will be blacklisted too and I’d equally have no sympathy.


      • hurin

        November 20, 2015 at 16:05

        In that case I fail to see why so many people hate on TotalBiscuit. If he can’t influence purchase decisions why bother.


      • Jack Layton

        November 21, 2015 at 01:49

        I’m curious about this belief, and wonder if you could expand on it. I can see that by watching others play a game it remove the need to buy the game, but surely that is only the case in heavily driven story games (The Last of Us etc.). And wouldn’t that be more than balanced out, I would have guessed that games that are less story driven have increased sales due to Youtubers in the form of generating more seeing it played and showing more people the game. And now that I think about it, even a negative image still technically effects the sales. Oh and could you please show me where this has been proven to be false.
        P.S. Not saying you are wrong or anything or that this proof doesn’t exist (I have accidently done that before) just curious, it seems like a bold claim to me so I wish to research it.


      • André Murgo

        November 22, 2015 at 00:00

        It’s a mistake in the cause consequence thing.

        Game is good -> Game is played by lots of Youtubers -> Game sells
        Game is good -> Game Sells
        Game is not good -> Not as many Youtubers play the game -> Game doesn’t sell much
        Game is not good -> Game doesn’t sell much

        Youtubers do help spread the word around, but if the game is not well recepted by the public, the Youtuber’s public won’t spread the word around and won’t check the game out/buy the game.


      • NeoTechni

        November 22, 2015 at 00:53

        I’ve heard multiple devs flat out say that’s not true, they’ve noticed jumps in sales when youtubers cover their games


  7. Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    November 20, 2015 at 10:08

    I congratulate Ubisoft and Bethesda for blacklisting Kotaku. Hopefully, polygon is next.


    • D4RKL1NG

      November 20, 2015 at 10:27



    • RinceThis

      November 20, 2015 at 10:44

      I agree. Fuck Kotaku! *RUN


      • Hammersteyn

        November 23, 2015 at 07:43

        Fuck IGN, they play ball. 9/10 for any game that arrives in the mail for review that includes the obligatory “donation”


    • BakedBagel

      November 20, 2015 at 12:51

      Im hijacking this top comment (Welcome to RSA MOFO’s)


      Kotaku – Claiming our audience dead since 2014

      Source: https://archive.is/ht088


      • Gavin Mannion

        November 20, 2015 at 13:00

        We’re not on the list… that’s so depressing


        • Dick Cheeses

          November 20, 2015 at 13:32

          first time on this site wanted to check it out on deepfreeze but you guy aren’t there guess that means you’re haven’t made enough of a stinker to be noticed (good thing)


        • BakedBagel

          November 20, 2015 at 14:01

          What do you think LG’s standing would be? 🙂


          • Gavin Mannion

            November 20, 2015 at 14:10

            with the mix of personalities here… could be anything 🙂

            Add Allessandro and Geoff and they are hugely anti-gamergate. I personally think they have a point and there is a problem that should be resolved.

            Darryn and Matthew have so far been able to side step questions around it and Zoe is a woman so she has no opinion right…. #RUNNING

          • BakedBagel

            November 20, 2015 at 15:02

            lmao. Obviously i disagree. But above all Im glad there are different types of voices and people here. Its always good to here out more than one opinion 🙂

            So Neutral then?

          • Gavin Mannion

            November 20, 2015 at 15:05

            Yeah I would hope we would be seen as neutral as a whole.. that’s the idea

          • NeoTechni

            November 22, 2015 at 00:55

            Take the remark about gamergate out, as it had no reason to be there, that’d help you be seen as neutral. By insulting them you’ve shown to take a position, the opposite of neutrality

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            November 21, 2015 at 13:37

            My blood is coloured GamerGate! One of the greatest gamer/consumer movements to have ever existed or emerged on the internet. One year after “gamers” were declared dead, we just popped a few phoenix downs, threw a few health packs at our buddies, and kept on going!

            Ad Victoriam Iudicium!

            Also it helps that the movement dislikes SJWs, authoritarians, the far right etc. as much as I do.

          • DaveRistaro

            November 22, 2015 at 18:45

            Yeah I think most of the people causing you problems are the far left, the most authoritarian of all. Or we could just keep left/right politics out of it, since it has no relevance.

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            November 22, 2015 at 21:47

            I’m sure many are familiar with the horseshoe theory, the simple idea that the far left and far right are one side of the same coin (rather than extreme opposites – ideologically separate). Both are authoritarian, anti-rationalism, anti-empiricism and anti-freedom of speech (the very description of the current crop of SJWs).

        • André Murgo

          November 22, 2015 at 00:05

          See “Contributing and modifying” here: http://www.deepfreeze.it/about.php

          You can make LazyGamer be on the list 🙂


        • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

          November 22, 2015 at 10:29

          Lol, that can be arranged.


  8. Kromas untamed

    November 20, 2015 at 10:25

    Good thing I am not a reviewer cause I would call out Ubisoft every day.

    Hell I would do it even before my first coffee and smoke every morning.

    Here is an example.

    “Fuck you Ubisoft! Your titles are shit and don’t even get me started on your “PC ports” or your lack of ethics when Sony flashes money in front of you so the PC version looks worse than the PS version. Also something about Uplay”


    • BacchusZA

      November 20, 2015 at 13:16

      I question your credibility and your ethical standpoint.

      You needed to use the word “Fuck” far more than just the once for me to believe you’re actually being sincere, and aren’t just pandering to the Man.

      When it comes to Ubisoft and uPlay, and their execrable PC ports, I can’t imagine using less than at least 3 different permutations of the word “fuck” per sentence.


      • Kromas untamed

        November 20, 2015 at 13:18

        I suppose I am way too lenient on them then.


        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          November 20, 2015 at 14:05

          Where’s your ethics in fucking Ubisoft? Wait… that doesn’t sound quite right. O_o


          • Kromas untamed

            November 20, 2015 at 15:03

            Hahahaha … I hope you got a consent form. 🙂

  9. Greylingad[CNFRMD]

    November 20, 2015 at 10:38

    Hmmmm…. Having read the article, the first thing that comes to mind is them being blacklisted because they leaked information on what a gaming publisher would see as confidential information, from an employers viewpoint, leaking info is a breach of contract. It could also be misinterpreted as corporate espionage…now let that sink in for a minute, if you release information on a confidential product, you could be jeopardising a companies success… On the other hand, we have the PR controlled media events, now I’m sorry, but those events create an atmosphere that would be otherwise unattainable, you get people psyched up to play the game etc. etc., these events are manufactured to create a positive response to the game, no matter how you look at it.

    These are two aspects in the gaming industry that, as time has shown us, could backfire and horribly so. The best thing any of us can do is take a step back, breath in the fresh air, look out the window for a second and realise just how much of a bloated topic it could be…

    A lot of people make their decision for purchase prior to any form of a review, whether that be from leaked info or a hype train going at speeds of smash your face into the pavement, it’s something that we will need integrity for. Buy intelligently, make up your own opinion and for F*cks sakes, have fun, more than anything…


    • Darren Peach

      November 20, 2015 at 13:41

      And when all is said and done, Someone makes a Gamergate movie.


      • hurin

        November 20, 2015 at 16:09

        The SVU episode on GamerGate was so absurdly bad, it actually boosted the ranks of GamerGate because many saw the press as being responsible for it.


        • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

          November 21, 2015 at 14:17

          Ice T actually apologised for it. Once he read up on Gamergate, he realised what a huge mistake the episode was.


  10. Darren Peach

    November 20, 2015 at 13:32

    I guess this ultimately would affect me as a consumer in the broader sense, But as a outsider to this industry, It’s incredibly hard to relate. But if publishers are doing this sort of thing, It stinks.


  11. FL

    November 20, 2015 at 13:54

    “I for one applaud Kotaku for calling out both Ubisoft and Bethesda for withholding review copies and access to developers”

    and this is what the author doesn’t get

    Kotaku has exploited and abused consumers and developpers in the industry for years through Gawker tactics (as revealed by Gamergate & sanctioned by the FTC) and now they cry FOUL when big developers cease to cooperate with them ?

    What is there to applaud ?


    • Gavin Mannion

      November 20, 2015 at 13:59

      Because what the publishers are doing to them is unethical


      • hurin

        November 20, 2015 at 16:13

        Publishers exist to make money. Somehow I doubt there is a single Gamer in the whole world, who will decide not to buy Ubisoft and Bethesda games because of their relationship with Kotaku.


      • cloudzn

        November 20, 2015 at 18:29

        it would be understandable Kotaku gave their games terrible reviews or had issues with their business practices however Kotaku leaked info on games and a major plot point from Fallout 4, it hurts the game development if a major plot point is disclosed too soon, and after reading that article about the 2 studios shunning them the author comes off as egotistical and a douche honestly, Kotaku is not the center of the gaming universe and millions of gamers don’t rely on them for anything and maybe it help them think of leaking info too soon again


      • DariusQ

        November 21, 2015 at 02:34

        Can you elaborate on how the move by Ubisoft & Bethesda is “unethical”? Just using the word does not make it so.


      • NoGround

        November 21, 2015 at 12:53

        Not exactly. What I feel it comes down to is this: Bethesda/Ubisoft see Kotaku leak information that isn’t scandalous in the slightest. That in itself is a problem. Second, Bethesda/Ubisoft feel slighted by what was done to them, and in reaction can choose to not cooperate with them.
        “It’s our product. You’ve insulted us in OUR house, and therefore we do not want you here.”

        It’s rather simple. I don’t see how it’s unethical to blacklist a journal site (not because they’re afraid of bad reviews) but because they did something inexcusable to the publisher/developer: leaked information. Please explain.


      • popehentai

        November 22, 2015 at 00:01

        The publisher is under no obligation to provide a preview copy to any media outlet.


      • André Murgo

        November 22, 2015 at 00:10

        Kotaku continuing leaking info and reporting badly gives the publisher reason not to want to cooperate with Kotaku.

        The publishers can’t make so that Kotaku doesn’t write about their games, but are totally free to not give Kotaku privileged access to their stuff.


      • NeoTechni

        November 22, 2015 at 00:57

        I disagree. Kotaku was unethical to them. Punishing kotaku for it is completely ethical.


      • DaveRistaro

        November 22, 2015 at 18:47

        Nope, what the publishers are doing to them is annoying to you. Slightly different.


    • Darren Peach

      November 20, 2015 at 14:19



  12. tenshi_a

    November 20, 2015 at 20:27

    I read Kotaku quite often, but I don’t really think of it as a gaming news site. I certainly wouldn’t go there for trustworthy reviews. Half the time, it’s about comic book superheroes and strange Japanese food.


  13. Lars Anderson

    November 21, 2015 at 02:29

    No one is going insane except Gawker. Settle down with your silly little click bait title. And lol at your claim Bethesda and Ubisoft being unethical.


    • André Murgo

      November 22, 2015 at 00:15

      Exactly. Not giving privileged access is not unethical.

      Publishers give journalists privileged access so they can write stuff about their game. It’s part of marketing the game. If Kotaku receiving privileged access is not beneficial to the companies they have all the rights to stop giving Kotaku privileged access. Bethesda and Ubisoft are not shutting down Kotaku from writing articles on copyright claims. =That= would be unethical.


  14. BabaBlakSheep

    November 21, 2015 at 04:29

    Unlike Kotaku- Bethesda and Ubisoft have never portrayed themselves to holding to any ethical standard apart from being businesses. Kotaku now claims to be “Journalists” but has a history of unethical behavior and Jason “Objectivity is hard so don’t try” Sheier as an editor.

    This piece conflates taking away a privilege enjoyed by one site as something unethical but fails to mention other sites that get along – and have gotten along – without such privilege. It is bullshit plain and simple!

    Kotaku was not silenced. Kotaku’s rights were not violated. Kotaku had a tool (access) that they abused until it broke and now they are crying over their own actions leading to it. But they don’t blame themselves, they blame the maker of the tool instead.

    This isn’t an ethical dilemma. This is two businesses deciding they don’t want to do business with a site that abused its privilege and relationship with them.

    If a Grocery Store shit on a farmer’s work, released vegetables that weren’t ready for consumption and claimed his vegetables were shit you wouldn’t call the farmer unethical for not wanting to sell to that store and going to sell somewhere else.

    Ethics has nothing to do with this. This is business.


  15. CodingLegend

    November 21, 2015 at 12:02

    Articles like this where you openly mock the #Gamergate tag and call Mark Kern one of the “More respected” supporters of gamergate therefore implying that gamergate on the whole isn’t respectable, are part of the problem. Gamergate is bigger than you realise and people can instantly see through the labeling of it as a group of misogynist men and trolls. You ignore the valid arguments and prominent voices of said group who actually deserve to be listened to. Notch for example.


    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      November 21, 2015 at 14:19

      Agreed! A lot has changed over the year.

      PS: Gamergate hasn’t even reached it’s final form yet.


      • TwinStripeUK

        November 21, 2015 at 22:09

        Unfortunately, ‘Gamergate’ HAS reached it’s final form – as long as the misogynists and trolls have the loudest voices, there’s no reason for anyone to take anything that ‘the movement’ say seriously, without automatically assuming another agenda.

        The best thing ‘Gamergate’ can do right now, is stop being ‘Gamergate’…

        And, for the record, a publisher refusing to give review copies to one site because they fear poor perception, and yet handing copies to another is just as lacking in ethics as somebody giving good reviews when there’s a clear conflict of interests, regardless of what your own opinion of Kotaku or the author of the article are.


        • NeoTechni

          November 22, 2015 at 01:04

          The misogynysts don’t have a voice at all in gamergate. The media is the one giving them a voice, claiming they’re gamergate and offering no proof, while hiding the absolutely terrible actions of their own members

          Kotaku isn’t being punished for fear of bad reception, theyre being punished for being unethical jerks


        • Cole Pram

          November 22, 2015 at 01:14

          You’re not fooling anyone. Give it up. There’s no proof after over a YEAR to remotely support you accusations beyond, “because the media said so”

          Also this isn’t an ethics issue. You can’t force publishers to give anyone review copies. Least of all a site that’s more about tabloid level identity politics than gaming. Go read more about how watermelons look like butts.


          • TwinStripeUK

            November 23, 2015 at 22:42

            And you’re deluding yourselves. You let the wrong people speak on your behalf and now ‘Gamergate’ is a joke and a pretty unfunny one at that. Now you’ve given idiots a platform at the UN, and all those taking backhanders for good reviews will just get away with it.

            Time to start again (and try not to let every moron with a keyboard join in this time, eh?)

          • Cole Pram

            November 24, 2015 at 16:04

            If you think GamerGate being a “joke” is the results of the last year
            and a half, you’re short sighted to the point of being blind.

            1) I speak on my behalf. I don’t speak on behalf of others, and others don’t speak on my behalf
            2) I can’t stop people from agreeing with me, especially when I’m right, no more than you can stop people from disagreeing with you.
            3) Idiots speaking at the UN is actually a huge win, and it just shows how short sighted you are.

            The lines, “harassment doesn’t simply consist of what is legal and illegal, but also the day-to-day grind of ‘you’re a liar’ and ‘you suck”, will forever be associated with idiots trying to censor discussion they don’t like. Anytime someone says they’re being harassed online, people are going to wonder if it’s real harassment, or just people calling them liars.

            Couple that with the complete train wreck the UN report was, to the point they had to pull it because of it’s inaccuracies and BS references, and know, these people speaking at that level is by far the BEST scenario.

            They’re out in the open and people know they’re idiots, it’ll be extremely hard for the media to push the idiots ideas on people after that and she’ll fade into history much like Jack Thompson. Antia will always be discussed in the context of her harassment and whether it’s real or not and not her opinions. Her ideas will never be taken seriously by gamers in general or by academics, which I think is a shame because I actually agree with some points she brings up. Anyone who supports her is seen as a “SJW” which will forever have negative connotations and examples of those negative connotations attached to it.

            GamerGate lost the PR war, it’s up against journalists and the media, what did you honestly expect, “We were totally wrong to be unethical in lying to millions of people about our positions, collusion and relationships both personally and professional”

            The fall out for the idiots, perpetually offended, “Social Justice Whiners” will be remembered and mocked for years to come. People like me didn’t even care about them before this, and thousands of us have woken up to it as a result.

          • TwinStripeUK

            November 24, 2015 at 17:31

            Okay, let’s ask one simple question:

            What has ‘Gamergate’ ACTUALLY achieved?

            I mean, beyond actually giving the ‘Ultra-feminists’ and ‘Uber-misogynists’ lucrative careers when prior to this they were all doomed to fade away into obscurity?

            Beyond reinforcing the view of the ‘gamer’ as emotionally and socially unstable (and potentially violent) individuals with no attachment to reality?

            If ‘Gamergate’ lost the PR war (and I think it fair to say they have) it’s because the kind of people who hijacked the agenda know how to play the game better than they can.

            If you think of some of the aims of ‘Gamergate’, all that’s actually happened is the precise OPPOSITE of what was intended.

            Protecting YouTube streamers from content plagiarism? Well that just lead to publishers having the right to pull content based on ‘breach of copyright’ (which actually gives them a method of censoring ‘bad press’).

            Transparency and a lack of bias in the press? It’s worse now than it ever was – at least before, companies were buying decent reviews on a game-by-game basis; now they’re buying full blown 6-12 month ‘promotional contracts’.

            And as far as your opinion of Anita Sarkeesian (‘… Her ideas will never be taken seriously by gamers in general or by academics..’), that really doesn’t matter, because gamers or academics don’t make laws or enforce them. Whether you or I think she’s an idiot, is completely immaterial. If people and companies are genuinely are suppressing free speech and opinion, if the truth is being manipulated and if the buying decisions of the public are being affected by complicity in fraud (because that’s what obtaining money through false pretenses is), then those are legal issues.

            It really doesn’t matter what twisted garbage people like that come out with – if they have the ear of those in power and you don’t, you’re on the losing side. Jack Thompson only ‘faded out’ because he tried to take on people who knew what they were doing, and who used the very legal system he was trying to exploit against him. And curiously, his disbarment came about because of ‘…grievances filed by people claiming that Thompson made defamatory, false statements and attempted to humiliate, embarrass, harass or intimidate them…’

            Isn’t that the sort of tactic which has been attributed to so called ‘Gamergate supporters’ ?

            This is why I’m saying that ‘Gamergate’, as it stands at the moment, needs to go away. There’s far too much baggage being dragged around by it to make any positive difference anymore. It needs to begin again, and properly this time (hopefully with a better damn name for a start), because there’s far too much negative perception from the people who could actually DO something about it.

          • Cole Pram

            November 25, 2015 at 15:07

            > What has ‘Gamergate’ ACTUALLY achieved?


            > Beyond reinforcing the view of the ‘gamer’ as emotionally and socially
            unstable (and potentially violent) individuals with no attachment to

            That’s the media’s doing, they’re the ones parroting unverified claims with no evidence.

            Sorry I only skimmed the rest of you’re comment as it’s ridiculously long and rambling, aside from the fact that you’re clearly set in your ways and will twist reality to suit whatever you WANT to believe.

            GamerGate isn’t going away though, you’re just going to have to deal with it ^_^

          • TwinStripeUK

            November 25, 2015 at 23:00

            Seriously??? The top five ‘positives’ on that list are attributed to the self-same site that ‘GamerGate’ have rounded on this article! You can’t even agree who the ‘good guys’ are! It just serves to show what a rambling, disorganised mess it’s all become.

            If you seriously think that a handful of internet journalists generating yet more clicks and ad revenue for their sites versus a film deal and and ongoing career (at the site you can’t decide is hero or a villain) is a ‘victory’, then you’re too deluded to deal with.

            The very fact that somebody feels the need to ‘list’ their achievements (not in the press, but in an open forum) smacks of a desperate need for validation. It proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt that the last chance we had for free, unbiased and accountable gaming journalism is dead.

            I’m not even going to argue anymore – congratulations, you f*cked it up for everyone.

            Let’s see if you’re still patting yourself on the back after another two years of it getting successively worse….

          • Cole Pram

            November 26, 2015 at 01:03

            Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

        • hurin

          November 22, 2015 at 09:48

          To SJW’s misogynist and racist just means anyone disagreeing with them.


          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            November 22, 2015 at 10:08

            You’ve hit the nail on the head. I’d even go further that it’s a complete waste of time to debate with these faux-progressive creatures (because they always opt for the Kafka trap), and the only true course of action is to mock them (and their beliefs).

            Take Brianna Wu as an example. There’s no reason to debate him, because he’s taken professional victim to such a crazy extent – and he lies. The guy is a pathological liar. You’ve got hundreds of archival tweets (most of which he burnt -deleted on twitter – hence why people store them in archives) that shows how far he’ll go.

            Then we have the current SJW love-child, the paedophile Nicholas Nyberg. What’s interesting is the mental gymnastics SJWs perform when trying to excuse Sick Nick’s “teenage edgelord” days, and how they’ve pounced on another paedophile, Subway’s Fogel.

            I suppose if Fogel was an SJW, they would have probably rushed to defend him, but therein lies their hypocrisy. A normal, law-abiding liberal or conservative wouldn’t even try to make the distinction between a “good” paedophile and a “bad” one (whether said pedo agrees or disagrees with their political viewpoints). It’s absolutely sickening that SJWs do this.

        • CodingLegend

          November 29, 2015 at 01:55

          Yeah, I don’t know how deep you are researching, but #Gamergate is very well supported by most Devs in the industry. Only the Journalists went after it, and I wonder why? Like I said. Most people can see through this idiocy. #Gamergate is a diverse group of people from all ethnic backgrounds and genders (Gaming is multinational ffs, so calling gaming racist is beyond absurd) who don’t like the politicisation of the gaming industry by social justice warriors who don’t even care about the industry or know anything about it. The gaming press let every gamer down by siding with social justice warriors who make clearly false statements about gaming culture.But, we will see how history plays this out. As for the changing the #gamergate tag. That is beyond juvenile and useless. It hints at the obsession with labels and pronouns that certain people have. Forget the tag and focus on the actual issues.


  16. Chris R

    November 21, 2015 at 15:43

    Apparently “going insane” now means pointing out the hypocrisy of complaining about being blacklisted while you yourself are known to employ a blacklist of your own.

    Sorry Kotaku, but if it is okay when you do it then it is just as okay when Ubisoft and Bethesda do it. You don’t get to have a special set of rules for yourself while holding everyone else to a higher standard. It is either wrong when anyone does it, to include yourselves, or it is okay for everyone to do it, to include Ubisoft and Bethesda.


  17. tactical_Dingus

    November 22, 2015 at 00:04

    When every time you release a game you have a Patrica Hernandez or some other twat whining about “Why is your protagonist sexist/racist/homophobic?” or “I found your game to be offensive because of x reason, would you like to comment on your reason for having x in the game?”

    I’d be a little hesitant about sending out review copies and giving them comments myself.

    To be clear, kotaku can still review games from both the companies, they just just don’t get an early review copy. This seems like a fair process since kotaku themselves already claimed they’re bloggers and not actual journalists (sometimes anyway, as they tend to flip flop as the occasion suits them) . As if not being journalists gives some sort of free pass to acting like spoiled shits when not every publisher kowtows to them.


  18. WEL

    November 22, 2015 at 01:09

    If Kotaku disappeared tomorrow nothing of worth would be lost. If I had a video game company the first think I would do is blacklist those click-baiters that define themselves as journalist and sometimes as bloggers depending on what’s more convenient at the moment. And never forget that Kotaku participated on the “gamers are dead” articles that were written by various outlets to attack game culture last year.

    Kotaku doesn’t give any crap about consumers, they only care about clicks and pushing progressive agendas and this is why I don’t condemn Bethesda or Ubisoft for blacklisting these unethical zealots that are often linked to nepotism and cronyism. I mean, the last interview Ubisoft had with Kotaku, Nathan Gray used a super inflammatory headline that says “Ubisoft Refused To Talk To Me About Women”….


  19. Knightwing19

    November 22, 2015 at 01:10

    It’s “unethical” to withhold review copies from news sites? No it’s not and the fact that you think it is shows how wrong you are. You don’t have a right to free copies of games these developers don’t owe you a thing.
    The most unethical part of this story is this site’s clickbait title. Where are the examples of “GamerGate going insane”?


  20. mikey

    November 22, 2015 at 02:42

    They only reason “we” know is because they wanted public pressure to give them what they lost and cannot earn back themselves


  21. Hendrik Vanderstijn

    November 22, 2015 at 10:02

    Yet they have no problem to participate and advocate for blacklisting themselves, in this case industry wide.

    Early review copies are an important necessity for game blogs to write about games. When those blogs get blacklisted for giving low scores, that kind of blacklisting is a problem, because it serves as pressure to inflate reviews.

    It’s not quite the same if said blog, kotaku, will write an article about a developer hating puppies, because,inside the game, they killed a dog in a press demo.

    Or when they report badly on facts and call people misogynist for things they haven’t even said: https://soundcloud.com/ben-kuchera/jaffe-confrontation


    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      November 22, 2015 at 10:11

      Excellent post!


  22. Maniate

    November 22, 2015 at 10:28

    Blacklisting is a very specific thing, which happens to illegal in some places and circumstances. Unless you care to provide communication between Bethesda and Ubisoft wherein they conspire to deny access to Kotaku, nobody is being blacklisted.


  23. Spikey Buddy

    November 22, 2015 at 12:12

    Kotaku being blacklisted by Bethesda and Ubisoft? GOOD! Kotaku, and Gawker at large, have always had some of the worst journalists writing the worst articles. I think if GamerGate didn’t happen, then maybe we wouldn’t be hearing about Gawker losing millions and the eventual restructuring. Remember Patricia Hernandez’s articles basically trashing Max Temkin? Or how about Luke Plunkett’s call for censorship of the Tentacle Bento card game? And Totilo? He has a Masters degree in journalism, yet he can’t keep his staff in line, much less lead a full staff out of a paper bag. And let’s not forget Sam ‘bring back bullying’ Biddle’s crap online. The faster Gawker and Kotaku die out the better. Then we can only hope that Vox Media and Polygon will fall after that. Get some new media properties in like Based Gamer, Tech Raptor, Niche Gamer, and even this site could have some potential. And while I don’t agree with developers blacklisting certain sites, Kotaku is pure poison. Unethical and no shame at all.


  24. MasterOfOrion

    November 22, 2015 at 13:27

    The original article is heavily moderated to a point where any non-agreeing opinion just gets deleted. Lets try it here:
    1. I would like to see facts about the claim of being blacklisted. Isnt this what journalism should be about?
    2. Does it ever come to the mind of people like Totilo that their “opinion” on games does not matter anymore to the dead gamer community?
    3. What prevents Kotaku to go the way of 98% of all other media outlets publishing their opinion about a game by simply buying it?


  25. Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    November 22, 2015 at 22:17

    • Hammersteyn

      November 23, 2015 at 07:38



  26. KarRuptAssassin

    November 22, 2015 at 23:47

    So leaking game footage and plans that had a negative impact on the company is ethical, but being blacklisted for doing so is unethical? What kind of backwards world are you from? And “goes insane”? We laughed at them because theyve been full of shit since the beginning.


  27. grimrook

    November 23, 2015 at 00:51

    no 2 sides 2 this story kotaku has been trash for along time and its time they fall


  28. larch

    November 23, 2015 at 12:22

    There is nothing “journalistic” about leaking documents fed to you, especially if you cannot verify the source or the authenticity. Just leaking information for the hell of it doesn’t help anyone but themselves for page views, especially if they don’t make it clear its unsubstantiated information. Don’t get me wrong I don’t have a problem with them leaking the information. What I do have a problem with is their complaints of being blacklisted by Bethesda and Ubisoft, they were in the wrong by leaking the information. The entire article is fluff piece, essentially saying: “Hey, look at us, we are the good guys for leaking all this information and the big bad publishers blacklisted us for doing so.” Kotaku boldly claims to not owe anything to publishers like Bethesda and Ubisoft. Well, it’s a two way street Kotaku.

    The publishers don’t need your unethical journalism, how many times has their “reporters” have been busted for promoting their friends/roommates/business partner’s games without proper disclosure. And here Kotaku claim to be the bastion of good ethical reporting, it is laughable. Kotaku is claiming they are being blacklisted because of journalism, and the price to pay for being one. Which is so far removed from the truth it is not even funny. I am not entirely sure the gaming public needed to know the setting of Fallout 4, because all it really did was ruin a reveal. In the end, they published it for views, much like they do with every single half-baked article they published calling it “journalism”.

    They weren’t ready to reveal the game because the gaming community overreacts to things. Everything the publisher did is well within their right, just like Kotaku. But only Kotaku is trying to play victim here. I am not sure that leaking the development of games is something you should be so proud of. Kotaku only focuses on telling the truth when it will benefit them. Why have they waited 2 years to share this? Because they finally realized a company has choices and is not going to take you off the blacklist so this is your last ditch effort. The publishers/developers don’t need Kotaku. And as you’re starting to see, publishers and developers are going directly to the gamers because they simply don’t need this traditional media bullshit anymore.


  29. Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    November 23, 2015 at 22:49

  30. VRH

    November 24, 2015 at 10:37

    Cry me a river


  31. Justin Sawchuk

    November 29, 2015 at 03:19

    Thats what they get for being fenazis turd burglars


  32. J Smith

    December 3, 2015 at 18:19

    Not trying to be a jerk but you need to fix your webpage I have trouble reading this because pictures on the side of the webpage are blocking words I am using a computer


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