Last week was... interesting. We ran some huge reviews, discovered a flaw in a widely-reported piece of news and stirred up some controversy over some blacklist.

Now it’s Thanksgiving week and time’s been short today. This round-up is going up laughably late. This one’s for posterity, at least.

  • Why A ‘Bad’ Steam Game Has Good User Ratings - As he covers the Steam beat, Nathan keeps an eye surprisingly successful games and and then tries to figure out what the deal is with them. He found a game that doesn’t seem like it should be widely praised, except... you can do weird things in it like play as a porn star. A good venture into the weird wilds of Steam.
  • Star Wars: Battlefront Helped Me Understand How The Empire Lost On Endor - Like many of Mike’s best pieces, he’s not being entirely serious here and yet is making a point. In this case, if you do want to get serious about it, you can think of this article as a demonstration of how high-fidelity virtual recreations of events—even fictional ones—can give us a new perspective on them. Or, since this is about Stormtroopers and Endor, you can not take it that seriously!
  • How A League Of Legends Match Typically Falls Apart - Online games have all kinds of interactions and experiences that don’t get explored much in the games media. There’s a lot of potential in exploring what players experience. Not just the toxic stuff, but just how people interact in online games, what the social mores are, what the etiquette is, how things take turns for the better or worse. Yannick took a good crack at that here.
  • Reporting Error Leads To Speculation That Terrorists Used PS4s To Plan Paris Attacks - One smartly-asked question by Jason debunks a widespread but bogus account of a thing that didn’t actually happen.
  • A Price Of Games Journalism - Then there’s this, of course. I’m talking about the apparent blacklist of Bethesda (two years) and Ubisoft (one year) of Kotaku. The thing I’m most proud of about that? That few people noticed that anything was going on. As I said to a reader in the comments to that piece, we can compartmentalize. If companies want to blacklist us for our reporting, they can have their fun. We’ll still cover them and their games to the extent that they’re doing interesting stuff. And it’s no sweat for us to buy copies or wait extra days to run a review, as we’ve done with plenty of games. We’ve been handling that kind of thing for ages and enjoy doing post-release coverage as much as we like keeping our readers informed of the things we discover while reporting.

Best GIF:


Best headline: ‘Bowser’ Made A Stage In Mario Maker And It’s A Real Bastard

Best post that’s full of spoilers so I can’t scroll through it and confirm its excellence but am going out on a limb: Everything* In The Witcher 3, Ranked

Best Fallout 4 review: Fallout 4: The Kotaku Review

Best non-gaming piece: The Weaponized Nostalgia Of Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Got thoughts about what we published last week or about stories you’d like to see on the site? Let me know.

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To contact the author of this post, write to stephentotilo@kotaku.com or find him on Twitter@stephentotilo.