Toshiki Benikawa, a 25-year-old man from Shizuoka Prefecture was arrested by police for allegedly threatening to burn down the headquarters. Visual Arts – Japanese company specializing in the production and publishing of visual novels (a form of visual novel), used to be a partner of Kyoto Animation. Terrorist messages were sent to the company last month, and Benikawa even publicly posted a provocative tweet on Twitter: “I’m getting gas!” After being arrested, the young man admitted to his actions in full, although it is not clear how much punishment he will receive.
Visual Arts is one of the partners of Kyoto Animation, an anime studio that was faced with a catastrophic fire that left 35 people dead and many injured. Worryingly, threats like these are not uncommon in the gaming industry. Developers and publishers say they regularly receive these messages terrorist threatignited murders from extremist fans.
Last month, just a short time after the Kyoto Animation fire broke out, Japanese authorities also arrested another man for allegedly threatening to burn down. Square Enix. This guy admitted, just because he was too bitter when he lost a game, he felt sad and sent a terrorist message to Square Enix but had no intention of doing it.
After Square Enix, Bandai Namco Entertainment continues to face the threat of a bomb attack on the US office headquarters. While it’s not clear if this is a real threat or just a hoax, it’s clear that this has seriously affected employees at the company. And most recently, employees at Twitch were also forced to work from home days after the company’s San Francisco office was threatened with shooting.
While players can sometimes feel dissatisfied with a game or a certain company, sending threatening messages is definitely not the right solution. Fortunately, the perpetrator of the terrorist threat Visual Arts has been arrested and no unfortunate consequences have yet occurred.
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