Hideo Kojima, thought to be Shinzo Abe’s killer, threatens legal action

Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima doesn’t play games when it comes to disinformation.

On Saturday, Kojima Productions, owned by the popular Japanese video game developer, shared a statement condemning “fake news” in response to people from 4chan users to politicians who misidentified him as the assassin of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

“#KojimaProductions strongly condemns the spread of fake news and rumors that convey false information,” the statement posted on Twitter said. “We will not tolerate such defamation and will consider taking legal action in some cases.”

Abe, 67 years old was killed in western Japan on Friday by a gunman who opened fire from behind during an election speech.

The former prime minister was airlifted to a nearby hospital in Nara and declared dead after receiving a massive blood transfusion, officials said. Nara police have arrested a suspect, 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami, a former Japanese navy officer.

Shortly after the murder, users of the social network 4chan shared messages joking that Kojima shot Abe and comparing the appearance of Kojima and the killer. according to vice. The posts soon made their way to other platforms, including Twitter and international news outlets.

French politician Damien Rieu shared photos of the gaming figure with a caption that translates as “far left kills.” Rieu then deleted the post and returned to his feelings.

“I naively took the joke for information. I never thought that we could joke about killing a person, but I was mistaken in not checking before sharing. My apologies to #HideoKojima and the #MetalGear fans” God said on twittertranslated from French.

Kotaku and Vice also reported that news outlets in Greece and Iran erroneously identified Kojima as Abe’s assassin.

Kojima created the Metal Gear franchise and released Death Stranding in 2019. In March, he released Death Stranding: Directors Cut.