Saturday, 23 March, 2019

Judgment Sales Halted in Japan Following Actor’s Drug Arrest, Western Release Uncertain

Judgement Sega halts Judgment shipments and digital sales in Japan following actor Pierre Taki's arrest [Update]
Troy Mann | 14 March, 2019, 19:58

The more hard it gets to differentiate between Kyohei Hamura and Pierre Taki, the more likely a nervous decision maker at Sega is to feel like the actor's actions are a reflection on the game, and by extension, the company. A year later, copies of anime Kill Me Baby were pulled from circulation when voice actress Ai Takabe was arrested for cocaine possession.

We have received arrest reports and are now confirming the facts, but for the time being we have chose to refrain from shipping and DL sales of the product and posting of product HP etc. Though no cocaine was found, Taki was given a urine test which positively identified cocaine use, according to Nippon.

In a tweet, Sega added its tweets related to Judgment have also been deleted.

Judgement

Judgment had been on sale in Japan since December 2018, and is due to be published worldwide later this year. It's possible that Judgment will similarly receive a patch that replaces the character model and voice for Taki's character Hamura. "We apologise for any inconveniences this may cause for customers, as well as the parties involved".

Sega's decision highlights an emerging aspect of video game production, design, and management. Taki also voiced Olaf in the Japanese version of Disney's Frozen. In the recently released remaster of the Japanese version of Yakuza 4, the voice and likeness of policeman Tanimura were recast after the original actor, Hiroki Narimiya, retired from the entertainment industry following unsubstantiated cocaine rumors. It's the kind of charge we wouldn't be surprised to see leveled at a celebrity in the United States or UK (assuming they were prosecuted at all), but drug possession and use is treated as a much more serious offense in Japan. Publisher SEGA has stated that the Western release, currently due to hit USA and Europe in June, is now "under consideration". The game has halted sales both physically and digitally.

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