Company known for its games filled with handsome samurai says thanks, but no thanks.

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, women in Japan are getting ready to give gifts of chocolate to guys they have a crush on, as is the local custom. But while most guys are extremely happy to be on the receiving end of such sweet gestures, one Japanese company has made a formal statement saying no Valentine’s Day presents, please.

It’s not a talent agency or boy band either that’s preemptively turning down the chocolate either. Instead it’s video game developer/publisher Koei Tecmo.

Even in Japan, though, video game designers generally don’t attract adoring groupies. Koei Tecmo publishes a lot of games set in the fuedal periods of Japan and China, and the continued enthusiasm of Japan’s rekijo (women with a strong interest in history), combined with Koei Tecmo’s artistic liberties in giving the game’s historical figures handsome anime boy-life makeovers, has earned the company a large number of passionate female fans, many of whom apparently mail Valentine’s Day chocolate to Koei’s offices in Yokohama.

▼ Trailer for upcoming Koei Tecmo-developed game Touken Ranbu Warriors

The statement, posted on the Yokohama-based company’s website, reads:

“Thank you for your continued support of our company and products, and we would like to once again express our gratitude to those of you who have previously sent presents to our staff and the characters who appear in our games.

Currently, as a countermeasure to the continuing coronavirus pandemic, many of our employees are working from home. After considering the difficulties in receiving the packages and possible health/safety concerns, this year we will be respectfully declining Valentine’s Day and White Day presents.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.”

Though not specifically mentioned in the statement, Koei Tecmo is currently developing Touken Ranbu Warriors, which will be released next month. This is Koei Tecmo’s first time to be involved with Touken Ranbu, a franchise with an overwhelmingly female fanbase and one starring anthropomorphized swords instead of historical warlords, so the game represents an entirely new potential stream of Valentine’s chocolate if left unaddressed.

Online reactions to Koei Tecmo’s present refusal statement have included:

“That’s some deep fandom.”
“So Oda Nobunaga gets chocolate every year?”
“It’s sad to see this part of gamer culture not happening, but if it’s going to cause problems for the employees, guess that’s how it’s gotta.”
“When a company banks on the appeal of its characters, they have to think about all sorts of things.”
“I guess ordinarily the chocolate sent as presents to the characters ends up as the employees’ snacks, huh? Kind of scary if they’re homemade sweets, though.”

On the plus side for fans, it sounds like the no-Valentine’s-chocolate policy is a temporary measure, and once things finally get back to normal, the gift-giving will be able to resume. And hey, if the samurai and generals in Koei Tecmo’s games can capture fans’ hearts centuries after their were alive, odds are they can hold that territory until after the pandemic is over.

Source: Koei Tecmo via IT Media, Twitter
Top image: YouTube/Nintendo 公式チャンネル チャンネル
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