THQ Nordic’s director of PR and marketing apologized on Twitter today after leading an « Ask Me Anything » (AMA) on the message board 8chan. The site is known primarily for being blacklisted from Google for child pornography, though contains separate message boards for video game related topics.
« I personally agreed to this AMA without doing my proper due diligence to understand the history and the controversy of the site, » writes Brock in a Tweet from THQ Nordic’s official account. « I do not condone child pornography, white supremacy, or racism in any shape or form. »
While AMAs have become a normal practice for brands to engage and answer questions from the community, THQ Nordic eschewed the typical sites AMAs are usually hosted on (Reddit, Twitter). Instead THQ Nordic chose 8chan.
The site was founded by members expelled from 4chan back in 2013 after the latter site purged the online organization known as GamerGate from its ranks. 8chan has since billed itself as a « free-speech alternative » to 4chan, which really puts 8chan’s ethos into perspective if you can believe it. Most online reports on 8chan center around its association with child pornography, which has led 8chan to become blacklisted by Google.
Confusion spread today when THQ Nordic’s official Twitter account announced it was starting up an AMA on 8chan. In a follow-up Tweet, THQ Nordic wrote, « [T]he opportunity was here and we took it, we got approached in a very friendly and polite manner and were assured, said person (shoutout to Mark) will take care of the nasty stuff. So, here we are. » Presumably THQ Nordic was referring to « nasty stuff » as illegal content. But a quick visit to THQ Nordic’s 8chan AMA (which we will not be posting here) shows « nasty stuff » such as lewd images of young cartoon girls being freely posted in the AMA.
So @THQNordic has decided to host an AMA on, uh, 8chan – the site blacklisted from Google for child abuse content.
8chan is well-regarded as an alt-right site and a base for swatting.This is currently right above THQNordic’s post.(What the fuck are you doing, guys?) pic.twitter.com/wQ5E5ZoRze
— Ryan Brown (@Toadsanime) February 26, 2019
Some believed that THQ Nordic was hacked, and that the 8chan AMA was an elaborate prank. But according to PCGamesInsider, THQ Nordic PR and marketing director Philipp Brock—who is participating in the 8chan AMA—confirmed its legitimacy.
Reactions to THQ Nordic’s decision to host this AMA have been swift. Many are condemning THQ Nordic’s decision to give 8chan the visibility, especially considering the illegal content hosted by the site.
THQ Nordic has decided to up their game in buying dead brands by killing their own brand so they can buy it.
— Imran Khan (@imranzomg) February 26, 2019
should go without saying really but i’d advise not supporting @THQNordic in any capacity, given that they’ve decided to promote child pornography websites (???)
— Shaun (@shaun_jen) February 26, 2019
thq nordic be like: what’s the problem??? the grand wizard approached us in a very friendly and polite manner and gave us all free hoods. the opportunity was right there!
— funké (@funkemcfly) February 26, 2019
THQ Nordic is a subsidiary of Swedish company THQ Nordic AB. It is part of a larger network of video game companies like Koch Media (which owns Deep Silver) and Coffee Stain Studios. THQ Nordic has been going on a purchasing spree as of late, buying video game IP and companies like Darksiders 3, Kingdoms of Amalur, and most recently, Kingdom Come: Deliverance developer Warhorse Studios.
We’ve reached out to THQ Nordic to find out more about the decisions behind the AMA.