Toei Animation Denies Blocking 'Dragon Ball FighterZ' From Fighting Tournaments

Earlier this month, we reported the lineup of games that were coming to EVO Japan. And while there were some notable favorites being featured, two big omissions stood out; and one is Bandai Namco’s Dragon Ball FighterZ.

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The game, which came out earlier this year to critical and fan acclaim, was a featured favorite during EVO this past summer, surpassing Street Fighter V in viewership. However, it took a powder from the upcoming EVO Japan, with a note indicating that Bandai Namco and Toei Animation may have been the reason. However, a new tweet suggests there’s something else afoot.

A fan recently called out Toei for blocking FighterZ from being at EVO Japan or the recently announced Anime Ascension event. But then, the company has denied doing such a thing.

The fan said, “What you’re doing to DBFZ tournaments have nothing to do with fellowship or friendship like Luffy and the Straw Hat crew.” To which Toei responded, “Apologies, but we have no knowledge about preventing DBFZ tournaments.”

What does this mean? Well, one of two things.

One, Bandai Namco made the decision directly, in the hopes of perhaps holding its own tournaments for the game. This is likely, but the idea of angering fighting fanatics to host your own tournament isn’t the best one unless it’s a huge financial success.

Then there’s the other likely scenario, with the rights holder to the general Dragon Ball franchise having a say. According to this Resetera thread, a number of fans believe that comic book- based Shueisha is the problem.

The company helped put the series on the map with its Shonen Jump publication, and even though that’s strictly within the manga side of things (whereas Toei is animation), it may have enough of a say to keep the game out of tournaments.

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Bandai Namco hasn’t said anything on the matter, as it’s busy preparing an Ultimate Edition of Dragon Ball FighterZ for release in Japan in late January 2019. (No word on a U.S. release, sadly.) We’ll have to see if they make any comments leading up to that. Fans deserve an answer, and, hopefully, they’ll get one.

Dragon Ball FighterZ is available now for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and PC.