What would you do if you lost in an online game? Most people would simply try again or move on to a different title. However, a Japanese man decided to send several separate threatening emails to SEGA. The death threats ranged from promising to burn down the company to killing its employees and their family.
According to Kotaku, Akira Watanabe was arrested on Wednesday, March 16, 2022, for allegedly sending repeated death threats to SEGA. The 54-year-old resident of Toyokawa, Japan was reported to have sent 12 separate threatening emails to the company between December 2021 and February of this year.
Watanabe reportedly sent the emails through SEGA's company contact form through his phone. His message had various threats saying he will “set the company on fire” or “kill employees.” One particularly vicious email claimed he will “kill the family and children of employees.”
The suspect had been arrested for obstruction of a business and has since confessed to sending the emails. According to Watanabe, he had “lost in an online game and was frustrated.” It was not revealed which game had caused so much frustration that he decided to send several death threats to SEGA.
Such threats are taken seriously by Japanese authorities for an important reason. The threat to set SEGA on fire is hauntingly similar to the Kyoto Animation arson attack in 2019 that claimed the lives of 36 employees and injured 33 others. Japan is clearly set on preventing another tragedy and were quick to act on Watanabe's threats despite those emails possibly just being written in frustration.
For now, it was not revealed which game Watanabe had been playing (and losing) that lead to the multiple threatening emails. SEGA has not yet commented on the incident. Stay tuned for more updates on this story.