Monday, 25 March, 2019


SEGA Stops Selling Judgment Due to Cocaine Scandal

Pierre Taki's in-game likeness depicting Kyohei Hamura Pierre Taki's in-game likeness depicting Kyohei Hamura
Melba Vasquez | 14 March, 2019, 19:55

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

It's as yet unclear what this means for the western release of the game, which is due out in the United Kingdom in June. "The release of Judgment overseas this year is now under consideration [following the arrest of Pierre Taki]".

Taki has admitted to violating the country's drug laws and using a small amount of cocaine.

On Tuesday, Sega announced it is pulling Yakuza spin-off game, Judgement (a.k.a. Judge Eyes) off shelves at Japanese retailers after the arrest of Pierre Taki, a voice actor for the game. "For the time being, we will voluntarily refrain from shipments and digital sales of Judgment, as well as from things like posting the product's homepage".

With the intensity of social stigma surrounding drug use in Japan likely providing pressure, SEGA has opted to not only halt sales of the game, but also delete tweets surrounding it. Hopefully the game comes out - I'm pretty anti-drug personally, but I enjoy music, movies, and other entertainment created by people who may consume the occasional substance. Disney is reportedly trying to get him removed from the upcoming Frozen 2, for which he provided the Japanese voice of Olaf, but that should be a relatively simple substitution.

On Twitter, Sega said it would also be deleting marketing tweets about the game.

According to Wall Street Journal reporter Takashi Mochizuki, Sega is discussing how this will affect plans for Judgment's western release.

This is not the first time that Sega has changed the course of a game because of an actor's conduct.

"The arrest of Taki by Japan's equivalent of the Drug Enforcement Agency is an embarrassment to Sega".

When the company re-released Yakuza 4 for the PlayStation 4 in Japan, one of the game's main protagonists was recast to be played by a different actor, Toshiki Masuda.

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