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THQ Nordic's 8chan AMA was a terribly stupid idea

THQ Nordic just made a massive PR blunder with their decision to engage in an AMA on 8chan.


THQ Nordic has made a very stupid PR blunder today. The company is doing an AMA on 8chan. The website has been blacklisted by Google for child abuse content. It is also a well known haven for swatting, transphobia, homophobia, conspiracy theories, racism, antisemitism, and pretty much everything awful in the world. For a video game company to even acknowledge this dark and evil corner of the Internet is upsetting. 

The Shack staff internally debated even reporting on this as it just draws more attention to the AMA, but I feel like this is a moment to point out a corporation's massive error in judgement. This is not a news post, and I will be sharing my opinion along with other people in the games industry's reaction to THQ Nordic's bafflingly stupid decision.

In 2014, GamerGaters took their posts to 8chan when 4chan banned discussion of the "crusade for ethics in games journalism." The site was also blacklisted from Google search in 2015 for containing "suspected child abuse content." The Washington Post described 8chan as a "more-lawless, more-libertarian, more 'free' follow-up to 4chan." The site was created by Fredrick Brennan in 2013, and is a fine example of what happens when free speech trumps moderation. 

The decision to participate in an AMA on 8chan wasn't slipped by PR either, as the PR and Marketing Director as well as Business and Product Development Director are the two representatives from THQ Nordic hanging out in one of the worst places on the Internet. They even doubled down on the decision on Twitter. This is really unfortunate, as the company had been on a tear of acquisitions lately on the back of some financial success. There are a ton of people who work at the company who are probably very upset by this AMA.

Ryan Brown voiced an opinion that sums up the confusion from a lot of people today. A simple Google search could have prevented this massive PR fiasco. THQ Nordic has yet to apologize to their fans who are vocally upset with their decision to participate in a 8chan AMA, but we will be sure to update this article when their inevitable mea culpa arrives. 

Here's that apology tweet, I was expecting:

"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."

- Philipp Brock, PR & Marketing Director THQ Nordic GmbH (Vienna, Austria)

It will be interesting to see just how long Phillip Brock has a job at THQ Nordic after this PR disaster.


Asif Khan is the CEO, EIC, and majority shareholder of Shacknews. He began his career in video game journalism as a freelancer in 2001 for Asif is a CPA and was formerly an investment adviser representative. After much success in his own personal investments, he retired from his day job in financial services and is currently focused on new private investments. His favorite PC game of all time is Duke Nukem 3D, and he is an unapologetic fan of most things Nintendo. Asif first frequented the Shack when it was sCary's Shugashack to find all things Quake. When he is not immersed in investments or gaming he is a purveyor of fine electronic music. Asif also has an irrational love of Cleveland sports.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    February 26, 2019 11:15 AM

    Asif Khan posted a new article, THQ Nordic's 8chan AMA was a terribly stupid idea

    • reply
      February 26, 2019 11:20 AM

      I feel like:
      crusade for ethics in games journalism.
      Should probably be in quotes, unless you believe that’s what it was actually about

    • reply
      February 26, 2019 11:23 AM

      wtf, who thought that would be a good idea?

    • reply
      February 26, 2019 11:25 AM

      It's just fantastic that the THQ Nordic account liked this:

      Way to double down on this.

    • reply
      February 26, 2019 11:27 AM

      i wasn't super-familiar with 8chan - i knew 4chan and its rep though.

      just found out some info on 8chan and...who the fuck thought an AMA was a good idea???

      • reply
        February 26, 2019 11:36 AM

        What is 8chan?

        • reply
          February 26, 2019 11:41 AM

          It's just another chan. Edgier content, lot more dedicated porn boards (loli, shota, furry, etc), has had a lot of issues with child porn distribution - more even than 4chan. Less admin oversight than 4chan..

          Basically it's where the worst channers went.

        • reply
          February 26, 2019 11:54 AM

          It's where people, like those who were banned from 4chan, go to peddle loli and it seems often enough actual child pornography, organize harassment/doxing campaigns, and post about far more extreme right-wing/fascist/racist ideologies and actions past, present, and future (see campaigns) "ironically."

    • reply
      February 26, 2019 11:27 AM

      wtf, why on Earth would they or anyone do anything on 8chan.

    • reply
      February 26, 2019 11:30 AM

      Any pr is good pr am i rite?

      • reply
        February 26, 2019 11:56 AM

        Mmmmm what a disingenuous apology. At least based on his prior professed style/goals for PR and, you know, all the prior communications regarding this specific event.

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          February 26, 2019 11:58 AM

          there's no way a community manager -slash- social media event manager for a gaming publisher doesn't at least know what 8chan is

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            February 26, 2019 12:07 PM

            There's absolutely no way this entire thing wasn't 100% intentional.

            No, this was done knowing it would build/reinforce credit with the increasing numbers of radicalized right across Europe and North America while also getting their name out there. It's a calculated risk that they'll suffer short term negative impact for what will likely be a long term positive effect.

            The reasons for name recognition largely fade while the recognition remains. And besides, "It's just one game, I like the series, and have the others, so..."

          • reply
            February 26, 2019 12:11 PM

            Is it like two 4chans?

          • reply
            February 26, 2019 12:15 PM

            You've known about the site for 31 minutes before posting this!

            • reply
              February 26, 2019 5:01 PM

              I mean, it isn't his job to do social media/PR, though.

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              February 26, 2019 5:53 PM

              i mean, i had heard of it, just never visited and didn't know just how much worse it was than 4chan, which i'm familiar with

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        February 26, 2019 4:16 PM

        Banters happily with ACTIVE (in the posts in the AMA) racists, homophobes and loli-lovers; claims later was accidental and was unaware of the content OF THE POSTS HE WAS REPLYING TO.

    • reply
      February 26, 2019 11:49 AM

      Updated to include an apology tweet from the PR person.

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        February 26, 2019 11:56 AM

        Now's a good time to send in your resume if you are looking to work as a PR director in Vienna.

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      February 26, 2019 12:04 PM

      Just terrible. Really hope the persons behind this are fired

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      April 17, 2019 1:17 AM

      thq did nothing wrong

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