Thursday, 21 March, 2019

Yakuza Spin-off Judgment Pulled from Sale in Japan After Drugs Scandal

CREDIT SEGA CREDIT SEGA
Kayla Schwartz | 14 March, 2019, 19:55

Taki not only added his voice and likeness to Judgment, but also did motion capture work for his character, Kyohei Hamura.

It is not known if this incident will have any influence on the Western release of Judgment, which is scheduled for June 25. The next day, Sega put out a press release (in Japanese) announcing that it would voluntarily halt distribution and promotion of Judgment in response to Taki's arrest. While Japan has a robust domestic show business industry, the country tends to be far less lenient regarding celebrity drug use than many other countries, and whenever a well-known entertainer gets in trouble for narcotics use or possession, media distributors are quick to distance themselves from the figure at the center of the scandal. Developer Ryu ga Gotoku Studios replaced actor Hiroki Narimiya in Yakuza 4 a year ago after also faced allegations of cocaine use. This will affect both physical and digital sales. We apologize for any inconvenience caused to our customers and related parties.

As well as halting shipments and digital sales, Sega has said it will delete tweets relating to the game.

CREDIT SEGA
CREDIT SEGA

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.

On March 12, officials from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare's Narcotics Control Department searched the home of veteran actor and musician Pierre Taki. Publisher SEGA has stated that the Western release, currently due to hit U.S. and Europe in June, is now "under consideration".

Sega will make an announcement regarding its future course of action as soon as a decision is made. The nation has a zero tolerance policy for drugs of any kind and the long dick of the law will come down hard on anyone caught using a banned substance.

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