A 25 year old man has been arrested in Japan after threatening to burn down Visual Arts, a Japanese game company that makes visual novels. The man's arrest comes one month after another man was arrested for allegedly threatening Square Enix headquarters with arson.
Toshiki Benikawa, from Shizuoka Prefecture, is alleged to have sent messages threatening Visual Arts and its employees with arson. The threats were sent to the company in August. Police also say that Benikawa posted the message "I'm preparing gasoline." On his Twitter account. Benikawa has admitted to sending threats to the visual novel development company, though it's unclear what punishment the suspect may face.
Visual Arts is closely connected to Kyoto Animation, the studio which was affected by a deadly arson attack in July. 35 people died in that attack and 34 more were injured. Kyoto Animation had animated several of Visual Arts' games, with Clannad and Air being adapted. The arson threat against Square Enix also spoke about the deadly Kyoto Animation arson attack and in July, a 36 year old man threatened "revenge" against his former boss and suggested that he would perform the "Hokkaido version of KyoAni".
Disappointingly, threats like these aren't a rarity. Video game developers, publishers, and connected companies are often hit with death threats from upset fans who may not be happy with content, lack of releases, or just that they've lost in a game.
Employees at Twitch were told to work from home after the company's San Francisco headquarters was hit with a shooting threat. The threat wasn't carried out, the building was secured, and San Francisco Police Department did investigate but it still will have been worrying for Twitch employees.
In August, video game publisher Bandai Namco Entertainment also faced a bomb threat at its US offices. An investigation was conducted and the company released a statement to confirm that all of its employees were safe and that it was doing everything it can to keep them protected. It wasn't publicly confirmed whether it was a hoax or a real threat, but it would have been upsetting for those who work there.
While many can understand that players may be disgruntled and unhappy with the actions of a studio, sending threats isn't the way to go about fixing it. Thankfully, the Visual Arts threat wasn't carried out and everyone there is safe.
Source: Anime News Network