February was a month of really high highs and very low lows for Swedish publisher THQ Nordic. On the positive side of things, they were able to raise $200 million in order to acquire more valuable IP and studios, something THQ Nordic is known for doing. Unfortunately, THQ Nordic made the decision to hold an AMA on 8Chan, leading to severe backlash from the general gaming public and press alike.
Normally, a simple AMA wouldn’t cause much controversy. In fact, some would probably laud the publisher for its transparency. Sadly, where THQ Nordic decided to hold this AMA was the main problem. 8Chan has a reputation for being heavily associated with and condoning things like pornography and hate speech, which are definitely not good things to associate with your popular game publishing brand with.
Many were disgusted at THQ Nordic for this decision, though their PR manager ultimately tried to attribute the situation to ignorance and an enticing offer. Following this whole debacle, parent company THQ Nordic AB’s Co-Founder and CEO Lars Wingefors issued a statement to investors today in order to condemn 8Chan and apologize for his company’s decision to hold an AMA there.
Immediately, he starts off his statement by offering his “sincerest apologies and regret or THQ Nordic GmbH Vienna’s interaction with the controversial website 8chan.” In regards to 8Chan, he went on to “condemn all unethical content this website stands for.” and says that “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.”
Lars continues on, saying that he takes full responsibility for what happened and revealing that THQ Nordic is “conducting an internal investigation” over the 8Chan AMA. He then pledges to make sure something like this never happens again and reaffirms his company’s values when it comes to things like diversity.
Obviously, THQ Nordic as a whole seems to have learned from this whole situation. While it was a really shocking and idiotic thing to do in the first place, it definitively looks like THQ Nordic never plans on repeating a mistake like this again. You can check out Lars Wingefors’ whole statement below:
“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.”
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