Tekken 8 Chief calls out threats of violence over character roster

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    Tekken Game Director and Chief Producer Katsuhiro Harada spoke out on Twitter after receiving online threats about the Tekken 8 line-up.

    Fans of the action fighting game series have strong opinions about which characters they would like to see return in the next instalment, though some online trolls have taken it too far.

    Harada spoke up on Twitter about threats made against him

    On 10 August, Katsuhiro Harada wrote a long post on Twitter calling out online trolls who had been threatening him over the inclusion of characters in the upcoming Tekken 8 game.

    His tweet was in response to a comment which said: “I swear to fuck if we don’t get Eddy in tekken 8 I will hit @Harada_TEKKEN with a Burning Hammer.”

    Harada explained the consequences that messages like the one he was responding to could have on both himself and everyone else in the fighting game community.

    He wrote: “The event operator overreacts and increases security, which increases operating costs and increases the burden on the players attending the event. In the worst case, the event management will request me to cancel my attendance at the event.

    “Company founders, board members, and lawyers “Don’t like to be intimidated,” so they ask me to Cancel inclusion in the game, even though, for example, the specification or character under threat “Should have been included in the game in the first place”.

    “If the person making these threats uses the word “We” instead of “I” to represent the fans, the probability of the two aforementioned disadvantages occurring is increased (Many of them don’t understand this. I do not adopt the views of those who use “We” when expressing their opinions. It is up to the Development Team to decide whether the opinion is majority or minority, and the person expressing the opinion says, “Everyone around me says so! (at most 5-6 people around me)” is irrelevant).

    “By enthusiasts behaving excessively, repeating these words and actions, or Fake information and hoaxes, or Threats, the motivation of the development staff will decrease rapidly, and as a result, the requests of enthusiasts will be far from being realized.”

    Game developers facing abuse is not a new issue

    Click to enlarge

    Image via Bandai Namco

    It is not unheard of for game developers to receive abuse from ‘fans’ of a franchise.

    In June this year, Riot Games developer Mortdog tweeted about the death threats he had been receiving over Runeterra Reforged.

    He said: “The amount of unpleasantness thrown my way was…a lot. New record for death threats, various calls for my job, numerous personal attacks. It sucked.

    “Don’t get me wrong, the PERCENTAGE of these is actually quite low. I’d say 70% of comments were very kind and positive, and 20-25% of comments were constructive criticism which is great. But if even 5% of comments are toxic and you read 1000, that’s still 50 horrible things.

    “I get it, I “signed up for this” by being public-facing, and I think I generally handle it pretty well. But you can only read someone saying they want to “kill your family in front of you and make you watch” so many times before it affects you. Even if you know it’s not real.”

    Similarly, in March, Facepunch Studios withdrew from attending a GDC meet-up in San Fransisco over safety concerns for their staff. In another case, a woman in Kyoto was arrested in February for allegedly sending a package containing death threats to a Nintendo executive.

    There seems to be no end to the number of cases which have happened this year alone.



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