As more and more publications are dialing down their Japan coverage, Kotaku had this crazy idea: Why not increase ours? And better yet, why stop at Japan? Welcome to Kotaku East.
Since 2005, Kotaku has unabashedly covered Japan from Japan, breaking news and providing a boots-on-the-ground look at the country's gaming and geek culture. The site's name, "Kotaku", is even from a made-up Japanese word with "ko" (小) meaning "small" and "otaku" (オタク) meaning "geek". Voilà, Kotaku!
Japan isn't the only game in town, which is why for the first time in the site's history, Kotaku will have Asia-based writers reporting from outside Japan, while at the same time, doubling down on its Japan coverage. The addition of writers in China and South Korea, both huge gaming hubs, will only strengthen the site.
But there's still much more to Asia than these three countries. As always, Kotaku—especially Kotaku East—is more than happy to receive tips (tipsATkotakuDOTcom) from readers residing throughout the region.
As with all Kotaku writers, each member of the Kotaku East team will bring a unique voice and prospective, whether the writer is shedding light on a just released game, a news story, or a different culture. The voices, and the countries they cover, will define Kotaku East.
Kotaku's current Japan coverage will also expand. There will still be breaking game news as well as subculture pieces on everything from giant robots to maid cafes that current Kotaku.com readers have come to expect. What's more, there will also be a more focused look at Japanese games and events.
Japan is the home to Nintendo and Sony, two of the console platform holders, not to mention countless talented game creators and new powerhouses like Gree. Doubling down here only makes sense. And so does entrenching in other regions.
At the same time, Kotaku East is expanding its reach—not just by rolling out bureaus throughout Asia, but also by exploring stories that range from interesting and illuminating to surprising and shocking. In Kotaku East, nothing is considered off-topic—just as nothing should be.
Kotaku East runs Monday thru Friday, 4am to 8am EST. Consider this your daily passport.
Click through the above gallery and meet the team.
Eric Jou Beijing, China
你好Kotaku! Eric Jou is an Chinese-American expatriate journalist working and living behind the Great Firewall of China. Jou has lived and traveled all over China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Growing up in New York City, he has been an avid gamer since the dawn of the Gameboy, so much so that to pay for college, Jou wound up working at GameStop. Jou enjoys drinking Duvel, playing shooters, and walking his dog the Major Pooper.
Besides working as Kotaku's Bejing correspondent, Jou writes for China Daily.
Richard Eisenbeis Tokyo, Japan
Once, long ago in the desert wasteland known by some as "Colorado," there lived a boy weaned on Mario and raised on Final Fantasy. He often heard tell of a magical land where games came out months, if not years, early—but in a strange, incomprehensible language. One day, he left his desert homeland and crossed half the world to brave hostile shores full of tentacle monsters, moe schoolgirls and evil ninjas.
It was everything he expected and more.
But as time passed, he found that all his experiences were for naught if he had no one to share them with. So with nothing but a computer, video camera, and the magic of the internet, he started sharing his passion for Japanese gaming with the world. Since then he has been featured on GamePro, GameZone, and Cheat Code Central; in the pages of gamesTM magazine; and on the Roleplayers' Realm podcast with fellow RPG enthusiast Kat Bailey.
Toshi Nakamura Tokyo, Japan
Genetically Japanese, culturally American, and a geek through and through, U.S. born Nakamura enjoys his consoles, comics, and cartoons.
Nakamura's first gaming system was a used Nintendo Gameboy. And from there, he never looked back. Toshi enjoys all types of games from side scrolling shooters to large scale RPGs (both Japanese and Western) and will often find himself caught up making his way through multiple games at the same time.
When not at home, he can often be seen making use of Japan's public transit system, his eyes glued to some portable device or another...
Brian Ashcraft Osaka, Japan
Brian Ashcraft is a Senior Contributing Editor at Kotaku, a site he's written for since 2005. Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has lived in Osaka for over a decade. Before arriving in Japan, he toiled away at Quentin Tarantino's now shuttered distribution company, Rolling Thunder Pictures.
Besides Kotaku, Ashcraft's work has appeared in Wired Magazine, Popular Science, The Guardian, T3, Metropolis (design magazine), Ready Made Magazine, Otaku USA, and The Japan Times, among other publications. He also has authored two books: Arcade Mania! and Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential.
Ashcraft has two sons. He likes hiking, Italian cars, and Willie Nelson.