No one likes death threats or otherwise intimidating remarks that threaten violence. Such comments are callous, dehumanizing, pointless, unproductive, and do nothing for anyone. Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada made that expressly clear, telling folks to not ask him for shit if all they’re going to do is send warning shots.
Harada has been associated with Bandai Namco’s long-running 3D fighting game franchise since its 1994 inception, starting out as a voice actor for characters like Bruce Lee-clone Marshall Law and roboninja Yoshimitsu before becoming a director of Tekken 3 and executive producer of Tekken 6. Now Tekken 8 is on the horizon, with Harada serving as the director of the upcoming brawl-em-up. Ahead of its still unannounced release, the last installment made an appearance at this year’s Evolution Championship Series (EVO) tournament. It was a huge event, the biggest the competition has seen to date, filled with heartfelt moments and melting accessories. But not long after its conclusion, which came with its fair share of game-related announcements, Harada allegedly found himself on the receiving end of some truly unnecessary threats of violence.
Harada tweeted on August 9 a screenshot of someone saying they’ll hit him “with a burning hammer” if longtime Tekken capoeira fighter Eddy Gordo doesn’t appear in Tekken 8. See, even though the game’s not out yet, a leaked roster has led folks to believe the game will be missing various characters, Eddy being one of them. Other mainstays that aren’t on the purported list include the aforementioned Yoshimitsu, pretty boy boxer Steve, and demon hottie Devil Jin, which if true, is a bummer. But again, the game doesn’t even have a release date yet, and the info is unconfirmed. That hasn’t stopped folks from saying they’ll hurt Harada.
“When people make these silly threats,” Harada said on X (formerly Twitter), “I and everyone [in the fighting game community suffers] the following losses.”
The first “loss,” he wrote, is that because of these threats of violence, event organizers overreact and increase security, which raises both operating costs and attendee anxiety. If the threat is bad enough, the event will even ask Harada to cancel his appearance. Another is that “company founders, board members, and lawyers” dislike intimidation tactics, and may ultimately prompt them to cancel the inclusion of an asked-for character who was previously planned to appear.
“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,” Harada said in conclusion. “And as a result, the requests of enthusiasts will be far from being realized.”
In the end, Harada summarized his point saliently with a single quote retweet, referencing a t-shirt he once infamously wore to a Tekken tournament:
“Don’t ask me for shit,” he wrote.
Kotaku reached out to Bandai Namco and Harada for comment.