Toei Animation Claims It Has "No Knowledge" of Preventing Dragon Ball FighterZ from Tournaments
Fan criticism has built over the past several months that Toei Animation may have had a part in preventing Dragon Ball FighterZ from the competitive scene.
As the arguable breakout hit in the fighting game community in 2018 (and for games as a whole this year), Dragon Ball FighterZ dominated the conversation at events such as EVO 2018 this year. However, while the game has built up popularity among fighting game enthusiasts, Toei Animation — the IP-holder to Dragon Ball — has commented in the building criticisms on why the game hasn’t appeared in more fighting game tournaments and events.
On the official Toei Animation Twitter account, the company replied that it had “no knowledge about preventing DBFZ tournaments” in response to a fan comment about the apparent “blocking” of Dragon Ball FighterZ from competitive events:
Apologies, but we have no knowledge about preventing DBFZ tournaments.
— Toei Animation (@ToeiAnimation) December 26, 2018
While Dragon Ball FighterZ appeared at EVO this past summer, notably the game was left out of EVO Japan’s roster for the tournament coming up in February, alongside the recent newcomer Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
This led to speculation that Dragon Ball FighterZ‘s lack of appearances at recent fighting game tournaments may be the result of barring from the right holders of the Dragon Ball franchise, which is split between a few different entities such as Bandai Namco, Toei Animation, and Shueisha.
Most fingers with the fighting game community were pointed at Toei Animation, the current license holder for Dragon Ball. This wasn’t a complete shot in the dark — Toei has in the past gotten Japan’s Embassy to request that the Mexican Government block an illegal broadcast of Dragon Ball Super from being publicly broadcast in Mexico.
Embassy of Japan in Mexico sent a note to a Mexican governor regarding the public airing of Dragon Ball Super's last two eps, asking to suspend it if its illegal because of Toei's author rights.
Where were you when Dragon Ball became the subject of a diplomatic note? pic.twitter.com/Gmn6QcYQR4
— Christmas Kaleb (@KalebPrime) March 19, 2018
While there is always the possibility that Toei Animation’s comment could mostly just be a blanket statement coming from the company’s PR-facing side, hopefully we’ll see some of the situation regarding Dragon Ball FighterZ‘s presence in fighting game events change, given its increasing popularity in the FGC scene.
With both Aksys and Toei theoretically out of the question, why is Dragon Ball FighterZ being pulled? That is unclear. The best guesses would be related to the game’s developer Arc System Works or publisher Bandai Namco. We have reached out to representatives of both companies for comment on the situation.
Dragon Ball FighterZ is still listed as an event at Combo Breaker, but we’ll have to see if that tournament follows the same fate. In the meantime, Dragon Ball FighterZ is currently available on Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, and Xbox One, and you can check out the DualShockers review. If you aren’t too concerned about the competitive scene, you can grab the game on Amazon now.