Hello and welcome to the brand new Kotaku UK. It’s still the Kotaku you know, but in addition to all the great stuff that comes out of the US, we’ll be bringing you original posts during UK hours, and rejigging things a little so that news, deals and spellings are more relevant to you. It’s Kotaku, then, but MORE. That’s got to be a good thing.
My name is Keza MacDonald, and I’m the Editor of Kotaku UK. I spent the last two and a half years as IGN’s UK Games Editor, and before that I spent more than six years writing for pretty much every games outlet around, from Eurogamer to VG247 to Edge magazine. I’ve been a games critic, writer and reporter for almost nine years now and it’s in my blood. I’m massively excited about this whole thing, and I’m sure you’re going to like what we do here.
The guy in the picture who isn't Keanu is Leon Hurley, our News Editor, who’s spent the last MANY years with Official PlayStation’s magazine and website - before that he was a teacher, and before that he was a scientist. Most of what you see on the site will come from us, but we’ll also be working with a huge selection of other talented writers - our contributors list is right here.
Kotaku is about three things for me: original reporting, gaming culture, and humour. It’s about seeing games differently. The fact that Kotaku doesn’t rely on review scores and exclusive previews means that we can cover games differently, too.
What’s the point of a UK Kotaku?
This is a very pertinent question in the age of the internet - if we can access anything from anywhere, what’s the point in localisation?
For me it’s about relevance, access, and community. Relevance is about more than just changing spellings (though we’ll be doing that, too) - it’s about cultural reference points, and reporting on things that matter to UK readers. English-speaking internet can be very US-centric. I don’t know about you, but that sometimes makes me feel either ignored or alienated by the big US games sites.
Access is the major editorial reason for running a UK-based site. Because we’re based in Europe, we can visit studios that are half the world away for our American colleagues. We’ve not just got a fascinating games scene here in Britain, we’ve got a whole continent’s worth of stories to explore. Having a UK-based team helps flesh out Kotaku’s overall editorial capabilities. We also sometimes see things a little differently from a UK perspective, and more perspectives is a valuable thing for any site.
Community, meanwhile, means providing somewhere where British Kotaku fans can feel at home. Leon and I will be spending a lot of time in the comments, on our Facebook and on Twitter. We hope you’ll join us there.
The business reason for running a Kotaku UK, of course, is that the publisher (that’s Future PLC, which also runs Gizmodo UK and loads of its own games websites, like CVG and GamesRadar) gets to sell ads in the UK market. But that’s not really my area. Kotaku UK isn’t an ad farm; I fully intend it to be a major force in the games media. I didn’t sign up for this to do things lazily.
I’m confused - is Kotaku UK a separate site, or will you be working with Kotaku US?
Basically, Kotaku UK is licensed by Future Publishing, so it is run by a different publisher - Kotaku US, obviously, is part of Gawker. We also don’t use the Kinja platform - the site looks very different. In that sense they are separate sites. But editorially, we will all be working together and keeping in close communication. Here in Europe we get the opportunity to cover things that the US can’t, and vice versa. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship.
Will I still see all the US content?
Yes - at least, almost all of it. We’ll be getting rid of the US-centric deals posts, and the very occasional posts that aren’t UK-relevant (say, about an NHL mascot or a new flavour of Cheetos) won’t appear. As for Kotaku East and other off-topic posts, which currently dominate during UK hours because of how the timezones work, we’ll be spacing those throughout the day so we can refocus the site on gaming. We’ll also be localising things like prices and spellings. Games are a global pastime, though, so the vast majority of Kotaku US’ posts will appear here, too. Likewise, you’ll see much of our original features and reporting on Kotaku US.
What kind of original work will you be doing?
All sorts. Our first few week’s features include a report on the best games coming out of the UK this year, a feature about Islamic art in video games, an investigation into why fanboys behave like such jerks, and a terrifying-but-fascinating look at bionic limbs. We’ll be posting news, too, and pictures, videos and links from around the Internet. Everything you’d expect from Kotaku, really.
It looks like you aren’t using the Kinja platform - how will comments work? Can I use my existing comments account on Kotaku UK?
Sadly no - this is the one thing we can’t really get around. We’re using Disqus for comments here, so it’s a totally separate system from the US site. I appreciate that many of you have been using Kinja for years and won’t want to be cut off from that community - that’s totally cool. Of course you can choose to visit the US site instead by bookmarking us.kotaku.com.
Will this result in a bunch of broken links and 404s?
No, it won’t - the redirect doesn’t apply to individual articles you might click on from Twitter, and we’ll be changing all backlinks to make sure that nothing bad happens. Nothing will be broken. Promise.
YOU LIED! A bit of your site is broken.
… bollocks. I’m really, really hoping we get through this launch without any gigantic technical catastrophes, but if there are any teething troubles, please forgive us, and if you’d like to email us on email@example.com to let us know if something’s broken, that would be hugely appreciated.
Any jobs going?
Nothing full-time, but I am always looking for contributors. Email me to get in touch. I’ll need examples of other stuff you’ve had published - or, failing that, examples of your written/video badassery.
You guys seem nice, but I’d still rather visit the US Kotaku.
That’s totally fine; it’s your choice, after all. Bookmark us.kotaku.com and you will always be taken straight to the US site, circumventing the redirect. There’s also a little geo-selector down in the footer. I hope you’ll stick with us, though.If you want to continue reading the US site along with the UK, bookmark this UK-stories-only tag-page here
If you’ve any more questions, we’ll answer them in the comments - or you can get ahold of me and Leon by emailing us (our addresses are on the contact page). And one last time: welcome. I hope you like it here.
(Wondering who drew our launch character artwork? It was the awesome Chris Gerringer of Paper Beats Scissors.)
Keza MacDonald is Kotaku UK's Editor, currently working through a debilitating addiction to FTL on the iPad. Follow her on Twitter, if you're into that.