Thursday, 23 May, 2019

Sega halts Judgment sales in Japan following actor arrest

Sega halts Judgment shipments and digital sales in Japan following actor Pierre Taki's arrest [Update] Sega Stops Sales Of Yakuza Spinoff Judgment In Japan After Actor Arrested For Alleged Cocaine Use
Emmett Howard | 14 March, 2019, 19:55

"The release of Judgment overseas this year is now under consideration [following the arrest of Pierre Taki]".

On its official website Sega announced, "We have received reports of an arrest and we are now confirming the facts".

Tokyo-based Sega Games Corp., creator of the "Sonic the Hedgehog" games, began selling the game in Japan in December and planned to ship it overseas in June.

Sega has pulled its Yakuza spin-off Judgment from sale in Japan after voice actor Pierre Taki admitted to illegal drug use.

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Judgement! It's a new game from the Yakuza team over at Sega, that looks like a Yakuza game, smells like a Yakuza game and even horrifically maims various gangsters in its signature Kamurocho district just like previous Yakuza games did. Before becoming an actor, Taki was a musician, co-founding the popular synthpop group Denki Groove. Taki also plays Frozen's Olaf in the Japanese edition of Kingdom Hearts III, so we'll see if Square Enix feel the need to take similar action themselves.

Sega also stated that it will no longer promote the game online, with the official Japanese website no longer accessible and all past tweets by Sega's official Twitter account regarding the game being deleted. At the time of writing, the game is still available on the PlayStation Store in Hong Kong and other regions in Asia. Publisher SEGA has stated that the Western release, currently due to hit U.S. and Europe in June, is now "under consideration". Developer Ryu ga Gotoku Studios replaced actor Hiroki Narimiya in Yakuza 4 previous year after also faced allegations of cocaine use.

This is not the first time that Sega has changed the course of a game because of an actor's conduct. In the re-release of Yakuza 4, main character Masoyashi Tanimura was recast following the same allegations. Police are now trying to ascertain how often the actor may use the drug and from where he obtained it. Japan has a strong stance on drug use and the crime can come with a sentence of up to seven years.

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