Drug Charge Results in Halted Sales of ‘Yakuza’ Spin-Off Game ‘Judgment’

Doris Richards
March 14, 2019

Actors and musician Pierre Taki, who voices yakuza Kyohei Hamura in Judgement, has been arrested for suspicion of illegal drug use. Judgment was released in Japan back in December 2018. Sega will not be updating the official website and has deleted every tweet related to the game, as well. Earlier this week, the 51-year-old Masanori Taki admitted to using cocaine and was arrested after testing positive to the drug.

According to Japan Times, the punishment for possessing or using cocaine in Japan is a prison sentence of up to seven years. Taki voices Kyohei Hamura in the game, and the character also appears to share a likeness in appearance with Taki.

Sega's decision highlights an emerging aspect of video game production, design, and management.

We have heard the reports of his arrest, and are now confirming the facts of the situation, but in the meantime, we have chose to voluntarily halt shipments of physical copies of the game as well as digital sales, and also to remove the game from our company website.

However, while Sega itself isn't going to sell you copy of the game, physical copies of Judge Eyes that have already shipped are still available, though their stocks are likely to start dwindling rapidly. Sega did not immediately respond to a BBC question about whether the controversy would affect the United Kingdom version of the game.

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

This was because the original actor Hiroki Narimiya had retired in 2016, following allegations of cocaine abuse. Given that the rest of the Yakuza series is being gradually ported to PC, however, it's possible that a PC release of the spin-off could be under consideration.

"In Japan, that's not a publicity plus".

Japan's attitude towards the usage of drugs is vastly different to other parts of the world. "In Japan, getting caught using drugs is a career ender".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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