The man responsible for sending death threats to Square Enix’s Tokyo office has been arrested.
On February 5th, employees at Square Enix Tokyo received an alarming email. The email didn’t say who it was from, but it did say that very unfortunate things would happen very soon.
According to Japanese news site LiveDoor News (and by way of Kotaku), the email began with, “Hey staff tomorrow I’m going to kill you get ready [for your punishment].” It then ended with “kubi arattokeyo”, which literally translates to “go wash your neck.” That last line is a reference to the ancient practice of seppuku, or Japanese ritual suicide, whereby a Samurai would cleanse his honor and that of his family by disemboweling himself with a knife.
A second man would behead the first with a single clean swipe of his sword across the neck--hence, the desire for a clean neck.
In response to the threat, Square Enix increased security in the office and work carried on as normal. For almost two months, employees worked under the watchful eyes of security while Tokyo Police tracked the source of the emails.
They found him on March 29th. The man was apparently a disgruntled gamer who got caught up in opening loot boxes for a Square Enix game, although so far no mention of specifically which game has been made.
“I spent over 200,000 yen ($1,794) on the game and I didn’t get the [in-game] item I wanted so I sent the email out of revenge,” the man told authorities upon his arrest.
Tokyo Police are also determining whether or not the same suspect was also responsible for 30 threatening emails sent last December to Square Enix.
Loot boxes continue to be a contentious issue in gaming. Several European countries have banned loot boxes for being too much like gambling, while several US states are considering taking action against loot boxes as well.