Game of Thrones video game tycoon dies in suspected poisoning

By Helen Davidson

Shanghai police have detained a man in relation to the suspected poisoning death of the wealthy founder of a video games company.

Lin Qi, 39, died on Christmas Day, eight days after he was taken to hospital with “acute symptoms of illness”, according to his company, Yoozoo Games Co, known for the Game of Thrones: Winter is Coming strategy game and as the producer of a forthcoming Netflix adaptation of the science fiction hit The Three-Body Problem.

Shanghai police said the hospital had determined Lin had been poisoned. The police said they had detained a 39-year-old colleague of Lin’s with the surname Xu. The police statement said Xu was a suspect, and had been detained “in accordance with the law while the relevant investigative work is carried out”.

Yoozoo initially said Lin was stable and improving, before the announcement he had died on Friday.

The company is one of the producers of a new Netflix series based on the The Three-Body Problem trilogy of novels by Liu Cixin. First published in 2008, they have become popular worldwide. Lin, Yoozoo’s chairman and chief executive, was named as a co-producer of the series alongside the Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and DB Weiss, Variety reported.

Lin, who founded Yoozoo in 2009, is believed to have had a net worth of about 6.8bn yuan (£770m), according to the Hurun China Rich List. News reporting his death was viewed about 300m times on the Chinese social media site Weibo.

Citing industry sources, the Caixin media organisation said the arrested suspect could be a former Yoozoo director involved with the motion picture subsidiary that is working on The Three-Body Problem.

On Friday Yoozoo posted a tribute to Lin, signed by staff. “You saw through what was imperfect but still believed in beauty; encountered unkindness but still believed in kindness,” it said. “Together, we will continue to be kind, continue to believe in beauty, and continue to fight against all that is unkind.”