Arika received a death threat in 2019, and the perpetrator was found guilty 2 years later

Publication date of the original Japanese article: 2021-10-25 18:22 (JST)
Translated by. Ryuki Ishii

Arika announced on October 25 (JST) that the perpetrator of a death threat made against company executives was recently found guilty.

Arika is a Japanese game company founded by former Capcom employee Akira Nishitani, and is known for Street Fighter EX series, Tetris 99, Pac-Man 99, Super Mario Bros. 35, and many others.

According to Arika’s press release, the company received a death threat aimed at company executives on September 3, 2019, via contact form on their corporate site. The perpetrator also made a threat to harm the company itself. Arika reported the incident to the police on the same day, and filed a claim on November 15 of the same year. The company was asked by the police to refrain from disclosing the information so as not to interfere with the investigation. That’s why this incident didn’t come to light until now.

The perpetrator was identified in October 2020 and was questioned by the police. The charges were confirmed, and the case was sent to the prosecutor on April 13, 2021. The perpetrator admitted to the crime in response to the interrogation, was indicted on September 9 of the same year, and was found guilty on October 5. Arika went on to say that a threat like this will not be tolerated, and they will continue to take a firm stance against such acts in the future.

In regard to death threats made to Japanese game companies, a similar case was reported by Square Enix in February of this year (related article, in Japanese). A player of Square Enix’s mobile game Dragon Quest of the Stars sent out multiple threats via contact form in 2020 and was arrested in February 2021. A live broadcast event was canceled due to this incident.

Square Enix actually had multiple incidents that lead to an arrest in the past few years. And Arika’s vice president Ichiro Mihara reacted to one of their incidents on Twitter in October 2019, right after the abovementioned threat was made to Arika.

Death threats are unacceptable regardless of the actual damage, and let’s hope that these cases of arrest will help deter similar incidents from happening.