Until last week THQ Nordic didn’t really have a defining moment, there was no “Just deal with it” or “Don’t you guys’s have phones” until last Tuesday when they crashed and burned in the most spectacular fashion.
In case you missed it, someone at THQ decided it was a good idea to host an AMA on 8chan, a website that hosts all sorts of nasty stuff including racism and child pornography. THQ seemed to indicate they were aware of this and had a moderator – shoutout to Mark! – on hand to remove any content.
The AMA started and of course, there was porn, racism, and nazis, and all sorts of other stuff within seconds. Many people on from the video games industry took to Twitter to ask THQ what the hell they were doing but AMA continued with some posts that seemed to show THQ employees agreeing with sexist and racist statements, something they denied later saying the comments were taken the wrong way.
Philipp Brock, PR & Marketing Director THQ Nordic Vienna took to Twitter to say “This was not about being edgy, this blew up and I very much regret to have done it in the first place,” adding “I am not a white supremacist, nor into child pornography.”
Always good when your PR department has to confirm they don’t like child porn, isn’t it? Despite the immense backlash THQ kept the the link to the AMA on their Twitter feed for almost a day before removing it.
Ggroup-CEO Lars Wingefors has now made an official statement about the mess.
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.