Yoozoo’s chairman and chief executive, Lin Qi, died on Christmas day of alleged poisoning in a Shangai hospital. Mr. Lin is the founder of Yoozoo, a game developing company popularly known for the Game of Thrones strategy game. He is also an executive producer in an upcoming Netflix original series.
Xu, Mr. Lin’s colleague, has been identified by the Shangai police as the main suspect for the poisoning.
At the time of his death, Hurun China Rich List had recorded Mr. Lin as having a net worth of about 6.8 billion Yuan, an equivalent of 960 million pounds. Mr. Lin was the biggest shareholder of Yoozoo Company, holding about 23 percent of the shares
39-year-old Lin Qi was an influential fairly-young character in China’s lucrative gaming industry.
In 2009, he founded Yoozoo and successfully helped the company adapt to the gaming industry, evolving to mobile gaming. An ex-Yoozoo employee describes Qi as the “heart and soul of Yoozoo.”
Outside China, Yoozoo is known for the strategy game, Game of Thrones: Winter is coming, for personal computers and smartphones.
Yoozoo also has co-published Brawl Stars, Supercell’s smash-hit game, together with Tencent Holdings in China.
Yoozoo has a department dealing with film production.
Mr. Lin was a Netflix executive producer for the awaited Netflix original series, The Three-Body Problem. He was working on the project alongside Game of Thrones makers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. Qi was among other big names in film production, such as Brad Pitt’s Plan B Studios and Rian Johnson.
In 2015, Lin’s Yoozoo studios purchased the film rights on the series. However, after facing difficulties in producing the project with their in-house team and equipment, they sold off the project to Netflix. Lin also sold off the rights to make games for the franchise to another Chinese company.
Mr. Lin first fell ill on Wednesday, December 16. Yoozoo released a statement that their chief executive had admitted himself to hospital after feeling unwell. The company reassured the public Mr. Lin’s health condition was stable.
The hospital notified the Shanghai police about Mr. Lin’s status after the doctors established that he had been poisoned prior to his admission. It is alleged that he was poisoned with aged Pu’er tea, a fermented Chinese drink.
On Friday, in an unfortunate turn of events, the company announced the demise of its founder. However, the company failed to highlight the specific cause of Mr. Lin’s death.
Local media reports point out that the man suspected of poisoning Mr. Lin is Yoozoo’s movie production head, Xu Yao.
On Friday, local media reported that several employees and ex-employees had gathered outside Yoozoo’s office to mourn Mr. Lin’s death.
Yoozoo posted an emotional condolence statement on its microblog on Weibo. The post has since attracted over 290 million views on Weibo, including thousands of comments.
Mr. Lin was also a calligraphy and poetry enthusiast. Consequently, most tribute messages had been calligraphed.