THQ Nordic, a video game publishing company whose library includes Sunset Overdrive and the Darksiders franchise, held an AMA (aka Ask Me Anything, a type of thread where a person of interest fields questions from the general public) on the American imageboard website 8chan. The venue of choice for the open question-and-answer event quickly led to outrage against THQ Nordic, as 8chan’s history of controversies, including the site’s troubled history with child abuse content. At the forefront of the outrage were prominent individuals from within the industry actively campaigning to impugn and boycott THQ Nordic due to their choice of platform.

Founder of the Video Game History Foundation and Digital Eclipse Dev Frank Cifaldi was one of the most vocal to lead the charge, calling on partners such as Nintendo of America, Disney, and Nickelodeon to cut ties with THQ Nordic due to their choice of venue (Archive link: https://archive.fo/XBrft):

Shannon Loftis, the General Manager of Microsoft Studios Publishing, tweeted at THQ Nordic’s AMA announcement, questioning why the Tweet remained live

Why do you still have this link up?

– Shannon Loftis in New Providence (@shannonloftis) February 27 2019

On the gaming forum ResetERA, a user named elenarie, who is identified as a DICE Developer on the forums, berated THQ Nordic for their choice of venue and claiming that their choice was irresponsible:

“I hope this incident triggers more corporate responsibility from companies around. This passes the lines of being ignorant and moronic into something much more horrific. How the hell did someone think this was a good idea, giving exposure to that hell hole in any way. :(“

“Talking more industry wide. At this point, I don’t see how THQ can recover, not care to know.

We’ve seen the industry over the last few years increase corporate responsibility and awareness in regards to many social issues (diversity, equality, work life balance, and more), but unfortunately stupid stunts like this and offensive parties and what not are still happening.

What I’m trying to say is that companies need to be much more responsible about who they work with, including who they partner with for publicity purposes.”

8chan has come to be labeled as a hub of child pornography due to an expose written by Dan Olson, titled The Mods are Always Asleep, wherein Olson dives into 8chan and exposes the shocking amount of child pornography that is not only present on the site, but also promoted and spoken in hushed whispers in codewords in order to hide from the average internet user. However, Olson’s expose was categorically false, as it was found that Olsen himself had intentionally organized the set-up of false boards and uploaded the images he used as ‘evidence’:

This is not to say that 8chan is completely free of morally questionable material as, like any public social media site, bad actors are present and attempt to take advantage of the freedom the site affords. While the site does allow for any user to create their own board, there is a reporting function for users to report posts involving illegal content (with an added caveat that only items which “violates the Digital Millennium Copyright Act or other United States laws” are deleted, in keeping with the site’s mission of free speech).

Ultimately, due to public pressure, THQ Nordic would delete their Tweet linking to the 8chan AMA and PR & Marketing Director Philipp Brock would issue a public apology:

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  • About The Author

    Spencer Baculi

    Spencer is a contributing reporter for Bounding Into Comics. Unabashed anime fan, life-long comic book reader, avid video game player, and in need of a separate house for all of his figures. Trying to sift through the noise to bring the readers the facts.

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