“Even if no one within the THQ Nordic Group would ever endorse such content, I realize simply appearing there gave an implicit impression that we did.”
Update 03/04/2019: THQ Nordic AB, the parent company of THQ Nordic GmbH, has now offered its apologies following last week’s 8Chan AMA debacle.
Per GamesIndustry, company co-founder and CEO Lars Wingefors has written an open letter to employees, partners and consumers, apologising for the decision and explaining that an internal investigation has been taking place.
It’s unclear from the letter if those involved have faced consequences. Here’s Wingefors’ apology in full:
“This letter is to offer my sincerest apologies and regret for THQ Nordic GmbH Vienna’s interaction with the controversial website 8chan last Tuesday, February 26. I condemn all unethical content this website stands for. Even if no one within the THQ Nordic Group would ever endorse such content, I realize simply appearing there gave an implicit impression that we did.
“As Co-Founder and Group CEO of THQ Nordic AB, I take full responsibility for all of THQ Nordic GmbH’s actions and communications. I have spent the past several days conducting an internal investigation into this matter. I assure you that every member of the organization has learned from this past week’s events. I take this matter very seriously and we will take appropriate action to make sure we have the right policies and systems in place to avoid similar mistakes in the future.
“As a Swedish based, fast growing group, we firmly support equality and diversity. We are also working actively to combat discrimination, harassment, and misconduct. We are already in the process of developing new work processes, based on the United Nations’ SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) and using the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) standards, and we will accelerate this work going forward.”
Original story follows.
THQ Nordic GmbH, best known as the publisher of the Darksiders series, has apologized for hosting an Ask Me Anything on a site that has been blacklisted by Google for “suspected child abuse content.”
The official THQ Nordic GmbH Twitter account revealed this morning that it would be doing an AMA on 8Chan, adding “we have no idea why.” This was followed up by a tweet saying “The opportunity was here and we took it, we got apporached [sic] 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.”
Many assumed that THQ Nordic’s account had simply been hacked, but it has since become clear that this wasn’t the case. IGN has reached out to THQ Nordic for comment.
Soon after many across the internet reacted to this AMA in confusion, THQ Nordic’s Philipp Brock, PR and Marketing Director, officially apologized on Twitter, writing:
“I personally agreed to this AMA without doing my proper due diligence to understand the history and the controversy of the site. I do not condone child pornography, white supremacy, or racism in any shape or form… I am terribly sorry for the short-sightedness of my (!) decision, and promise to be far more vigorous in my assessment of these activities in the future… This was not about being edgy, this blew up and I very much regret to have done it in the first place.”
Accounts credited to THQ Nordic’s Philipp Brock and Reinhard Pollice responded to comments in the 8Chan post. While some responses from these accounts have directly pertained to THQ Nordic GmbH’s business, Waypoint’s Patrick Klepek has noted many were less than savory.
For example, when responding to a question pertaining to Destroy All Humans, the account credited to Pollice wrote “We work it like an alien prostitute.” Other responses include commenting on the breast sizes of an image containing cartoon girls and saying the company will try not to appeal to a “SocJus” (social justice) crowd.
Back in 2015, as reported by Ars Technica, Google removed 8Chan’s domain from its search results and added a warning about “suspected child abuse content” when people searched for the domain directly. The site is known for hosting illegal pornography, racist imagery and more.
Colin Stevens is a news writer for IGN. Follow him on Twitter.