Saturday, 23 March, 2019

Sega halts Judgment sales in Japan following actor arrest

Judgement Sega halts Judgment shipments and digital sales in Japan following actor Pierre Taki's arrest [Update]
Katie Ramirez | 14 March, 2019, 06:28

Voice actor Pierre Taki plays the role of Kyohei Hamura, the captain of the Matsugane family in Judgment.

Taki is an actor and musician known for being a member of the band Denki Groove and the voice of snowman Olaf in the Japanese dubbing of Disney's Frozen. Sega has also begun deleting all tweets related to the game. According to the Japan Times, Taki was arrested in Tokyo on Tuesday and admitted to using a "small quantity of cocaine" earlier in the week.

As reported by Kotaku, investigators arrested Taki after receiving a tip the actor had been using cocaine, and although a search of his property and vehicle proved fruitless, a urine test eventually came back positive. Until further notice, Sega has made a decision to to put a stop in shipments and digital sales for Judgment, and will refrain from further updating the game's official website. It is not clear at this time whether or not the halted sales in Japan will affect the release of the game's release elsewhere.

Judgment had been on sale in Japan since December 2018, and is due to be published worldwide later this year. All this fuss may seem a bit overblown to Western eyes, particularly given Taki is playing a mob boss in a video game for adults, but Japan has a very stringent anti-drug culture and accompanying laws. The western release has a different cast of voice actors providing the English version of the game.

Judgement

At the moment it is unclear how long this suspension of the game's sales will last or whether it'll be permanent, but Sega has engaged in a veritable campaign to remove as many traces of it as possible.

According to Wall Street Journal reporter Takashi Mochizuki, Sega is now discussing how this situation regarding the Japanese retraction of Judgment will affect the western release of the Yakuza-spin off, which is now scheduled for release on PS4 June 25.

Even if Mr Taki is recast, it may be hard for Sega to erase him entirely from the virtual world of Judgment.

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