Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Judgment Pulled From Sales in Japan

Yakuza spin-off title Judgment was pulled from sales by SEGA in Japan after voice actor arrested for drug scandal.

An official spin-off title of the acclaimed Yakuza series, developer/publisher Sega has released action-adventure game Judgment back on December 2018 in Japan for players on PlayStation 4, also eyeing for a Western release this year.

The title was commercially doing pretty well and fans were eagerly waiting for a summer 2019 release worldwide. However, it has been pulled from sales after one of the game's voice actors was arrested for alleged possession and usage of cocaine.

yakuza judgment pulled sale japan drug scandal
Judgment Pulled From Sales in Japan

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Japanese actor and musician Pierre Taki, who has voiced over for in-game crime boss character Kyohei Hamura for the PS4 title has been arrested recently after tips on suspicion of his using a small amount of cocaine was received by police.

Initially, there was no drug to be found but when given a urine test, Taki was tested positive for cocaine usage. Right after this incident, Sega voluntarily came out with a press release for halting distribution and promotion for the game in response.

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Following their brief statement, the publisher completely pulled the game off from digital and retail stores while the investigation is ongoing. Also, the planned release date of Judgment on June 25, 2019 is now in question until the investigation comes to a conclusion.

For many people, it may seem like a lot of drama over some routine drug charges but Japan has a very strict outlook on drugs and possession of cocaine can lead to seven years of prison sentences for voice actor Pierre Taki.

yakuza judgment ps4 pierre taki kyohei hamura sega
Pierre Taki Plays Kyohei Hamura

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Originally developed as codename Project Judge and known as Judge Eyes in Japan, the game follows private detective Takayuki Yagami working on a serial murder case and engages in a beat 'em up adventure in third-person perspective.

This sudden drug scandal fiasco and Taki's arrest is obviously quite disheartening for everyone who put a lot of effort and labor in creating and promoting Judgment, both from within and outside of Japan, considering the studio announce a worldwide release date only a week ago.