“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,” THQ Nordic PR & Marketing director Philipp Brock said in a statement on Twitter Tuesday. “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.”
THQ Nordic announced it was hosting the AMA on 8chan earlier in the day. “We’re doing an 8chan AMA and we have no idea why,” the publisher tweeted. “Come join us!” Many in the gaming community had no idea why, either. The imageboard site was created in 2013 as “the more-lawless, more-libertarian, more ‘free’ follow-up to 4chan,” according to The Washington Post. Since then, it’s been mired in controversy.
It was reportedly shut down in 2015 after multiple people complained that it hosted child pornography. It quickly resurfaced under a new URL before recovering its original domain, The Washington Post said.
8chan is also tied to a number of Gamergate-inspired harassment campaigns against women journalists and game developers. One thread on the site plotted (and, apparently, succeeded) to “swat” artist and Gamergate critic Grace Lynn, sending about 20 police officers to her Portland, Ore. home in January 2015, according to Ars Technica.
8chan is also apparently the birthplace of the infamous anti-Semitic Hillary Clinton meme President Donald Trump shared on Twitter in 2016, according to Mic. It depicted her with a six-pointed Star of David and money in the background, and was allegedly created by white supremacists.
THQ Nordic is an Austrian game publisher known for titles like “Darksiders,” “Sunset Overdrive,” and the upcoming open-world RPG “Biomutant.” It’s been on an acquisition spree over the last few years, picking up the rights to classic franchises like “TimeSplitters,” “Alone in the Dark,” and “Kingdoms of Amalur.”
When asked on Twitter why it chose 8chan to host its AMA, THQ Nordic said, “The opportunity was here and we took it. We got approached in a very friendly and polite manner and were assured said person will take care of the nasty stuff. So, here we are.”