New Game! creator Shoutarou Tokunou loves interacting with fans and he made an effort to reply to physical letters by sending signed illustrations. Sadly, Tokunou revealed that he will be ending this practice.
— 得能正太郎 (@tokutaro) May 15, 2018
While he didn’t cite a specific incident, but Tokunou has learned that someone has been reselling the gifts he sends to fans. Tokunou made it a habit to personally draw and sign paperboards to fans that sent him physical letters, but the gifts aren’t meant for retail.
Fans believe that Tokunou’s decision may be linked to a 2016 auction. A Mandarake Auction user auctioned a signed New Game! paperboard that featured Aoba Suzukaze saying, “Thank you for the letter!” The seller’s name was obscured, and the auction closed after receiving 6,500 yen ($59) in bids.
Tokunou Tweeted that he’s still happy to receive physical fan letters, but that fans shouldn’t expect to receive gifts back since he can no longer be sure that they won’t be resold.