From the company that brought you the Disney-inspired tales of Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy, and an Avengers game presentation that left fans in civil war, comes an arcade adventure called Starwing Paradox. It's a game looming with quasi-Gundam mechs, a reputable voice cast, and honorable objectives; but recent death threats to Square Enix have stopped its tournaments from seeing the light of day.
The cancellation of the tournaments have many other implications for the future of competitive gaming, gamers, and even the companies themselves. For some, it's lost potential; the battle mechanics of Starwing were described by critics as tastefully borrowing elements from previous mechanoid games; which left some to suggest that competitive e-sports and tournaments could flow well with the game's multiplayer components. To others, it is a genuine concern for personal safety. This incident is also far from the first time that threats of death and violence have surfaced inside competitions, and on the internet.
Nearly 5 years ago, we saw the rise of GamerGate, a conspiracy movement that left a loud minority to theorize that developers and gaming journalists had inappropriate relationships with one another. They even made death threats to reporters over subjects such as the "profoundly misogynistic" undertones of Grand Theft Auto V. With all things considered, the effects of those threats were incredibly drastic. Messages brought from the winds of GamerGate would soon cause game developers and critics to leave their homes and call the authorities when they felt unsafe.
Others, in the wake of threats and battery, were not able to get home at all. In Jacksonville, FL, a shooter opened fire over a Madden game tournament, killing two people, and injuring as many as ten others before killing himself. The shooter's motives were unknown/unreleased to the general public.
Even more recently, in Japan, where Square Enix resides, there was an arson attack that left more than 35 dead in a Kyoto Animation studio. Similarly to Square Enix, the Kyoto animation company had also received threats before this time, but had not thought such a heinous crime to be possible.
What this should mean for the rest of us is to understand that Square Enix is in the right for taking these safety precautions and cancelling the tournaments until further notice. One threat of violence alone should be enough to know that this cannot stand. Tournaments, and any other type of recreational gameplay should be free of any trouble; the real world is already terrifying enough as it is.