Update: Judgement Still Coming to the West this June Following Drug Investigation
Update 22/03/19: RGG Studio and SEGA has confirmed that following the drug allegations of actor Pierre Taki, Judgement will not be delayed in the west and it is still set to release in June. Via their official social media pages, they did confirm however that the actor in question who plays Kyohei Hamura will be “adjusted” in the game, such as his voice and likeness. Screenshots and trailers also featuring the actor will be temporarily removed and replaced at a later date.
I suppose whatever you may think of this situation, at least Judgement won’t be released any later then it’s already scheduled June window.
Original Story 14/03/19: Following accusations of a lead character in Yakuza spin-off, Judgement being arrested for cocaine use, Sega has pulled Judgement from all sales in Japan, where it is currently available (or was). They’ve even gone as far as removing promotions from their website and the official Twitter account.
Judgement is not scheduled to release over to the west until June 21st, but Sega’s seemingly drastic actions may delay the release of the game over here. The reason being is that Pierre Taki, who not only voices villain Kyohei Hamura, but his likeness is used. In the past, Sega has taken similar measures with the release of the Yakuza 4 remaster in Japan (which we’re still waiting for by the way), when unverified rumours of cocaine use followed actor Hiroki Narimiya, who played police officer, Tanimura.
On the official Sega website, Sega released a short statement in regards to the allegations by saying:
We have received reports of an arrest and we are currently confirming the facts. We are withdrawing Judgment from sale in Japan for the time being, including both physical and digital editions.
So it would appear that with Judgement already being available in Japan, Sega may very well remove actor Pierre Taki following the allegations and will bring in a new actor, patch him into the game, and then make Judgement available for sale once again. If Taki is found guilty of cocaine use, he could face up to seven years in prison. Which according to Mainichi News, Taki has confessed to using a small amount of cocaine.
In my personal opinion, while this all seems very drastic over one man using a bit of cocaine, as we know, Japan is a very different world. Sure, cocaine is illegal regardless of where you might live, but Japan is more about keeping face, rather than sales. We are also still a few months away until Judgement releases over here, so hopefully if Taki is removed; it will all be fixed and patched way before June 21st, hopefully.
In the meantime, I guess we’ll just have to wait until “Judgement” is made (sorry, not sorry). What are your thoughts on these allegations? Let us know across our social media channels.