Former Gaming Company Exec Sentenced to Death

Chinese court says Xu Yao killed Yoozoo Games founder Lin Qi over business dispute
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2020 7:53 AM CST
Updated Mar 22, 2024 3:00 PM CDT
Gaming Tycoon Is Dead After Poisoning
The Yoozoo logo is displayed at the Yoozoo group headquarters in Shanghai.   (Chinatopix via AP)
UPDATE Mar 22, 2024 3:00 PM CDT

A former executive at one of China's biggest gaming companies has been sentenced to death for murdering the firm's founder. A court in Shanghai said Friday that Yoozoo Games exec Xu Yao poisoned the food of Lin Qi because of a dispute over how the business was run, the AP reports. Lin died 10 days after he was poisoned in December 2020. Xu was apparently a serial poisoner: The court said that in the months before Lin was poisoned, Xu poisoned beverages, sickening four people but causing no deaths, because of disputes with two other people at the company. Xu was in charge of business connected to a science fiction trilogy called The Three-Body Problem. Months before Lin was poisoned, the company granted Netflix the rights to produce an adaptation.

Dec 28, 2020 7:53 AM CST

His video game company made a fortune from the Game of Thrones franchise, and now the Chinese billionaire has been murdered in a Thrones-like plot. The victim is Lin Qi, 39, who died on Christmas Day after being poisoned, reports the Guardian. Lin founded the video games company Yoozoo in 2009, which NPR notes is best known for Game of Thrones: Winter Is Coming, a game adapted from the blockbuster TV series. A suspect identified by the surname Su is in custody, and reports in Chinese media say he is a Yoozoo employee who might have been disgruntled after his salary was cut, according to Variety. Lin fell ill about two weeks ago and seemed to be on the mend before the company announced that he died in the hospital on Friday.

It's not clear how the poison was administered, though reports in China say some type of toxin appears to have been slipped in to Lin's tea or perhaps his medication. The company's profile was about to jump in a big way because Lin had again teamed with David Benioff and DB Weiss—the duo behind the TV adaption of Thrones—and was working on a highly anticipated Netflix series called The Three-Body Problem, notes the Hollywood Reporter. It's based on a series of popular sci-fi books in China. "The kind of plot that only tends to appear in film and TV works has happened in real life," observes a Chinese financial outlet, per Variety. (It's not the only high-profile poisoning in the news of late.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.