Sponsored By

Kotaku Australia is being shuttered by Pedestrian Group

The Australian media company had been licensing the Kotaku brand, but has decided to rethink its business model.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

July 8, 2024

2 Min Read
The Kotaku logo on a pink background
Image via Kotaku

Kotaku Australia is being shut down by publisher Pedestrian Group so the company can focus on its own brands.

The Guardian broke the news after obtaining an email sent from Pedestrian Group CEO, Matt Rowley, to a number of employees across the company.

Pedestrian Group currently licenses the Kotaku brand and others including Gizmodo, Vice, Refinery29 and Lifehacker (which are also being axed) so it can deploy them in Australia.

Rowley described Pedestrian Group–which is owned by media conglomerate Nine–as a "highly successful business" in that email, but indicated the company has decided to move away from licensed brands.

"We've made the tough decision to focus on our wholly owned Pedestrian brands where we control the strategy, the content, the product, the sales and the outcome–the entire business," he said.

"This will have an impact on roles within the group and I appreciate the uncertainty this change creates, so we will be in contact immediately with those people."

Kotaku Australia is being axed despite winning over readers

Rowley, who is being replaced as CEO as a result of the pivot, added that financial headwinds, dwindling advertising revenue, and corporate instability also influenced the decision.

It's believed about 40 people will be laid off by Pedestrian as a result of the move. As reported by The Guardian last month, the news comes shortly after Pedestrian parent company Nine axed 200 jobs across its entire business.

Kotaku Australia managing editor David Smith confirmed the news on X and explained the website had met a "sad and abrupt end."

"It has been one of the great joys of my life to wake up every day and run a site I love with all my heart," he added. "To all my comrades at Pedestrian Group, I love you, I have never worked with better or more talented souls in all my life. To the readers, thank you for showing up every single day, even the whingers in the comments."

Smith heaped more praise on his colleagues at Kotaku Australia–such as multimedia reporter Emily Spindler and the publication's network of freelancers–and noted the site was the "second-highest read" across the business group.

"I will be taking a break for a bit now," he added, "but know that it has been a pleasure and an honour to serve you."

Read more about:


About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

Daily news, dev blogs, and stories from Game Developer straight to your inbox

You May Also Like