Publisher THQ Nordic held an AMA on 8chan yesterday (26 February), a website notorious for its involvement in child pornography, swatting, Gamergate, and that was once so toxic as to be delisted from Google.
Which is certainly something, isn't it? It was a decision so baffling that many initially suspected that THQ Nordic had been hacked when the publisher announced the AMA on Twitter.
Yet no, this was a genuine decision. Two people within the publisher had decided to go ahead and do it. When challenged, their initial response, in a tweet that as of writing is still on Twitter, was:
"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. so, here we are."
The decision apparently came from PR and marketing director Phillipp Brock, as well as business and product development director Reinhard Pollice, both senior figures within the company. They happily answered several questions on 8chan and seemed totally on the same page as the audience of the infamous website. An apology has since been issued via Twitter from Brock.
Even if it could believed that they were somehow ignorant of the site's reputation and content, which given their answers seems highly unlikely, just a few seconds of research would have made it abundantly clear. Immediately after the AMA announcement, hundreds made it clear what an issue it was - yet still THQ Nordic went ahead.
Why do it though? This is such a thoroughly disastrous PR move that will leave the publisher with a cloud hanging over it forever going forward. This is a stain on its reputation that will not wash out, and has surely outraged other employees, not to mention those working at the many studios under or associated with the THQ Nordic banner, such as Coffee Stain, Deep Silver and Bugbear Entertainment.
In short, it is appalling that anybody within any company felt this was appropriate. Certainly, nobody in the games media did...
Featured Image Credit: THQ Nordic