I like em! Me-me-me! Stephen Totilo my dawg.
I've quite enjoyed Kotaku over the years. I can understand why some dislike the site though.
Despite often defending the site and those who go there, I can see its clear issues. A big one is how it's tied down to the Gawker Media network of sites. The people leading Gawker seem intent on dragging down every site in their grasp. Another issue is their insistence on changing the layout over and over again. It's like a year can't go by without them messing with it. And they have a contentious relationship with their commenters. While the head of Kotaku, Stephen Totilo, is a decent fellow who seems to want to improve the site, their ties to Gawker seem to make them diametrically opposed to people enjoying the site vs just consuming the content. Nick Denton, the head of Gawker, has made a point of insulting regular commenters while always lusting after more unique viewer hits.
Totilo seems to believe that good articles will draw in people, and they have seen an increase in quality, substantive articles. But, to the next big grievance, the good articles are surrounded by a sea of nonsense. Often, the content is even opposed to itself, as they have a good discussion of sexism in games followed right by an article about kinky Japanese girls. It is truly bizarre, and there seems to be little self-awareness.
Beyond that, though, they do provide a rather consistent stream of videogame or just nerdy culture stories. If there's a story out there that's tangentially related to videogames, it will get a mention. So, it is certainly convenient to just have a one-stop place for everything and more. You do have to get used to wading through stupid stuff, hypocritical stuff, and overall random stuff, but after a while, it's easy to just see the stories that interest you. Destructoid is somewhat similar, but it is more of a hybrid site with other content and slightly less news. Kotaku is just news and nonsense. A near stream of consciousness from their varied staff. Which, hey, can appeal to some, and it can rub some the wrong way.
They seem pretty intent on just being what they will be regardless of what anyone has to say about them. So, don't go there if you don't want what they're offering, but if you do see something there that catches your eye, well, they'll be there at all hours of the day every day, just posting away.
I don't really care about news sites in general, for video games a good site will tell me the important info in the title. I don't need to read about what a ponce like Phil Fish says, just if a game/DLC has been announced, cancelled, or delayed, and when to.
Click-bait articles and article titles.
Exactly this for me. Some of their articles are good but many headlines are pretty disgustingly click-baity. I'm not even sure if they're doing it on purpose anymore. That one time when they post an article about Steam and PC gaming in Japan based around one tweet comes to mind.
Because their front page feels like picking up a daily newspaper. Just clickbait and sensationalist titles all over the place. I also can't relate to the editors very well.
But then again, it must be two years since I last even went there. Maybe it's cool now. Don't care enough to find out.
They did an article about how John Riccitello's favourite character from The Wire was Wee-Bay.
So, you know, that counts for something. Fuckin' Wee-Bay, man. That's a deep cut pick, Riccitello was no casual Wire fan. Either you in it or you ain't, wise words.
I know they're about 7 years late on the "finding out favourite characters from The Wire as a substitution for real journalism" trend, but I appreciated it all the same.
I'll only stumble upon there if Patrick links an interesting article on his weekly Worth Readings.
Too damn many garbage articles. For every piece of valuable information there's 10 bullshit articles only somewhat related to gaming ("this kid got his PSP stolen during the London riots") or crap only japanophiles care for. The latter is probably the worst part of Kotaku. I tried to find a way to unsubscribe from the Kotaku East articles, but eventually I just stopped subscribing to Kotaku altogether. Just because I like video games doesn't mean I want to read about Japanese pop stars and the most popular Japanese candy.
The big problem I have with them is they like to fan a lot of flame wars (ME3, Aliens: Colonial Marines, SimCity Launch) instead of reporting news. It just feels like a little too much sensational journalism for my tastes. The site itself has some really good long form articles, but many of the articles are just too designed for stirring the pot.
While I think they are good at getting news up fast, I don't like the tone of which they do a lot of things. They're a bit tabloidy.
I feel largely the same way. Kotaku is pretty much the supermarket tabloid of games journalism, which given the current state of games journalism is really saying something.
I'll pretty much echo what everyone else has already said. Sensationalist tabloid writing is why I've only visited that site 12 times. Once for each episode of Retro Game Master. There are some interesting things contributed to the site, some are even Kotaku East, but those usually get linked or reposted somewhere else. I feel bad for Stephen Totilo, it seems like he's single-handedly trying to right a sinking ship.
A lot of people hate the website for various reasons: Blatant click bait articles, terrible writers, terrible journalism, Patricia Hernandez...
But yeah there are so many writers and people on the site that they just happen to get wind of things quickly so Kotaku is often the first to a story.
I do not have a problem with them, but from what I have seen on the site there is nothing "missing" from the current couple sites that I like at Kotaku. The only site that actually offended me was VG247 including a lot of aggressive swearing towards anyone not purchasing heart of the swarm but has a PC capable of running it. Article looks like there might have been some humor attempt (I hope) but yeah - there are better places for headline aggregation.
They cover sports better than anyone which is kind of a shame considering Operation Sports exists. I like that they're content heavy, but that's probably because I don't actually play many games despite being a paying customer to a video game website. Along with Giantbomb they provide most of my understanding of what's going on with the video game world, with some random visits to IGN or Kill Screen or whatever sprinkled in.