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Hideo Kojima studio threatens legal action over false link to Shinzo Abe murder

Kojima Productions released a statement via Twitter on July 9 that condemned misinformation falsely linking game designer Hideo Kojima to the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

On July 8, Abe was shot while speaking at a political rally in Nara and was pronounced dead later that day. Authorities arrested a suspect, Tetsuya Yamagami, at the scene. Yamagami, a 41-year-old man and former officer in Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force, confessed to the killing but said he was not politically motivated.

Shortly after the assassination, trolls on the 4chan online forum posted a series of racist jokes ‘identifying’ the shooter with photos of Kojima, the legendary 58-year-old game designer of ‘Metal Gear Solid’. and “Death Stranding”, as reported by Kotaku. French comedian Georges Jordito reposted the lie on Twitter. He eventually deleted his posts, but not before they were retweeted by far-right French politician Damien Rieu. Rieu then made another tweet using photos of Kojima along with a phrase that translates to “far left kills.” Rieu then deleted the tweet and apologized.

This circulation of misinformation eventually led Greek news station ANT1 and Iranian media outlet Mashregh News to publish stories about Abe’s assassination with photos of Kojima, such as reported by Vice.

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Kojima Productions, the designer’s studio, shared a statement on Twitter referring to “false news and rumors that convey false information” as defamatory, and said the company “will consider taking legal action in certain cases.” .

Kojima, who tweets frequently, hasn’t made a personal statement about it, choosing to simply share the official tweet from Kojima Productions.

This isn’t the first time Kojima has been embroiled in a conspiracy theory. In April 2021, Dutch game studio Blue Box released a reveal trailer for its upcoming horror game, “Abandoned”, which some viewers interpreted as a clandestine Silent Hill or Kojima Productions Project. Blue Box released a statement stating that it had no link to Kojima shortly after the buzz. In October 2021, Blue Box tweeted that its employees had received death threats due to ambiguity.

Kojima’s work often explores the potential dangers of mass communication. “Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty”, originally released in 2001 and now considered one of the greatest video games of all time, was a particularly prescient title that prophesied a world filled with fake news, digital echo chambers and even memes before us. had a language for such things.

Kojima’s latest track, 2019’s “Death Stranding,” is about a courier traveling across a fractured, post-apocalyptic United States and connecting disparate cities into a single web. It’s a play on the dangers of isolationism and the importance of building bridges – both figuratively and literally. “Death Stranding” has been hailed as a visionary game that has deeply impacted gamers due to its release less than a month after the onset of the covid-19 pandemic.