THQ Nordic did an 8chan AMA and it went as well as you'd think

THQ Nordic

The marketing team at THQ Nordic woke up on Monday morning, made some coffee, powered on their computers and decided to host an AMA on a website blacklisted by Google in 2015 for hosting “suspected child abuse content.

OK, maybe it didn’t go down exactly like that at the THQ Nordic offices, but to the shocked and confused citizens of Video Game Twitter, that’s how it seemed. On Tuesday, THQ Nordic PR director Philipp Brock and product development director Reinhard Pollice held an “ask me anything” session on 8chan, a website with a reputation for hosting extreme right-wing content, Nazi sympathies and child pornography. THQ Nordic tweeted out the event and immediately received blowback from developers, fans and journalists, but the AMA went forward regardless.

THQ Nordic is the owner of a number of high-profile franchises, including Darksiders, Saints Row, Dead Island and Metro.

“The 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,” THQ Nordic tweeted to concerned fans. “So, here we are.”

The second question in the AMA contained a direct reference to pedophilia and it accompanied a drawing of two young women with ridiculously large breasts being fondled by a man towering behind them. In response to the question — “Where the big tiddie lolis at?” — Brock said, “You got them already we’d say.”

In between legitimate questions about the state of THQ Nordic’s franchises, users dropped further references to child pornography and Nazism. Pollice and Brock played along, answering the relevant questions, for about an hour.

An hour after that, THQ Nordic tweeted out an apology attributed to Brock himself. The company sent the same statement to Engadget in response to a request for clarification. It reads as follows:

“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.”

THQ Nordic is an acquisition-heavy studio, building up its business by buying dying franchises from dead publishers. Its most recent news, and the likely reason marketing directors wanted to do an AMA in the first place, is the availability of a bit of DLC for Darksiders III. While today’s 8chan debacle certainly generated a lot of buzz, THQ Nordic probably doesn’t want that noise associated with Darksiders or any of its other franchises.

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THQ Nordic buys developer of 'Kingdom Come: Deliverance'

Warhorse Studios

THQ Nordic, the games publisher that’s made a name for itself picking up long-forgotten games studios, has added Warhorse Studios to its fold in a €33.2 million acquisition. The deal comes exactly a year after Warhorse launched controversial title Kingdom Come: Deliverance, which sparked a heated debate about the issue of whitewashing in video games. Despite this narrative, though — and the fact that the game was born of a Kickstarter project — the game has since sold some two million units across all platforms. So THQ Nordic has evidently made a smart addition to its motley catalogue of studios.

In fact, the company’s interim financial data shows that its net sales rose 713% to $447.6m in 2018. Much of its success can be attributed to its merger with of Koch Media/Deep Silver last February, but an increased cult appetite for otherwise defunct titles is undoubtedly helping to push the company forward. Its efforts have breathed new life into a number of now-popular franchises, including Darksiders, Red Faction and Desperados, and it’s reportedly got 77 games in development, including 48 unannounced projects. The company has also just announced its acquisition of Australian publishing partner 18point2, which will give it the ability to publish its own games Down Under, thus opening up its curiously-hungry market for downtrodden titles even further.

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