A brief note about the continued discussion about Kotaku's approach to reporting. We've long been wary of the potential undue influence of corporate gaming on games reporting, and we've taken many actions to guard against it. The last week has been, if nothing else, a good warning to all of us about the pitfalls of cliquishness in the indie dev scene and among the reporters who cover it. We've absorbed those lessons and assure you that, moving ahead, we'll err on the side of consistent transparency on that front, too.

We appreciate healthy skepticism from critics and have looked into—and discussed internally—concerns. We agree on the need to ensure that, on the occasion where there is a personal connection between a writer and a developer, it's mentioned. We've also agreed that funding any developers through services such as Patreon introduce needless potential conflicts of interest and are therefore nixing any such contributions by our writers. Some may disagree that Patreons are a conflict. That's a debate for journalism critics. (Update: After some discussion, as noted here, we will make a minor exception and permit a writer paying into a Patreon or any other crowd-funding service in the extremely unlikely scenario when it is the only way to access a game we're interested in for coverage. Since most developers usually provide press at least some access to their games for free, this is largely a hypothetical situation but one that ensures we don't miss covering a game because of an overly restrictive policy.)

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Ultimately, I believe you readers want the same thing my team, without exception, wants: a site that feels bullshit-free and independent, that tells you about what's cool and interesting about gaming in a fair way that you can trust. I look forward to focusing ever more sharply on that mission.

Update: I initially wanted to keep this statement focused on questions about Kotaku's reporting. In doing so I didn't mention the fact that that criticism has been part of a larger week-long saga that has involved inexcusable harassment of developers and writers, including some Kotaku staff. This statement should not be read as a tacit endorsement of hounding anyone online, of making personal attacks or otherwise being rude, destructive or awful. Genuine, reasonable criticism is always welcome. Harassment is not welcome and is in no way ok with me or anyone else on the team.

DISCUSSION

A brief note about the continued discussion about Kotaku's approach to reporting. We've long been wary of the potential undue influence of corporate gaming on games reporting, and we've taken many actions to guard against it. The last week has been, if nothing else, a good warning to all of us about the pitfalls of cliquishness in the indie dev scene and among the reporters who cover it. We've absorbed those lessons and assure you that, moving ahead, we'll err on the side of consistent transparency on that front, too.

For many people who have been upset for the past week+, it was never been about journalistic transparency. It is about the perceived double standard about this whole incident. If the shoe was on the other foot, if this was about a male developer, there would have been open discussions and articles on Kotaku and other gaming outlets. And I am not talking about the reported infidelity. I am talking about the whole radio silence around the a multitude of subjects including that heavy moderation and censorship, false allegations or threats and abuse, and orchestrated doxxing that was done by the reported victim. These subsjects have been regulated to what pretty much accounts for back alley conversations, rather than prominently on the main page.

Kotaku and other outlets will need to do a very good job in the future if they want to regain trust with some members of the community.