Video game fans are being asked not to send chocolate to their favorite characters on Valentine’s Day amid the continuing spread of the coronavirus.
Every Feb. 14, gamers send chocolates to characters and developers of Square Enix Co., best known for the blockbuster Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy games.
This year, however, the Tokyo-based company has posted a message on its website asking fans to refrain from sending gifts this year.
Square Enix employees were given the option to work completely from home from December, making it difficult for its staff to receive such gifts at the office. The gaming giant also cited the government’s coronavirus state of emergency as a reason for the decision.
Outside the game industry, B. League basketball club Chiba Jets Funabashi asked fans on Twitter to refrain from giving chocolate to players.
“We took the step to protect our players at a crucial time during the ongoing season,” an official of the team said while adding: “Players were looking forward to this day. We would have been ready to accept (chocolate) if there had not been the coronavirus epidemic.”
Around October the team started to ban fans from handing food and beverage items to players at match venues. Chiba Prefecture is under the government’s state of emergency.
Meanwhile, the government of Kumamoto Prefecture is receiving Valentine’s Day chocolate sent to Kumamon, the prefecutre’s mascot, as usual.
A prefectural official said that Kumamon is receiving fewer gifts this year than usual, but that “It’s too much for Kumamon.”
Kumamon received 343 chocolate gifts for Valentine’s Day in 2020.
The Kumamoto government will once again donate this year’s gifts to a food bank in the prefecture.
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