Published: Thu, March 14, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Sega Halts Sales of Judgement in Japan Following Actor's Cocaine Arrest

Sega Halts Sales of Judgement in Japan Following Actor's Cocaine Arrest

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.

Voice actor Pierre Taki plays the role of Kyohei Hamura, the captain of the Matsugane family in Judgment. Japan has incredibly strict drug laws, and as Kotaku noted, Sega's decision isn't unprecedented: Universal Music Japan once stopped selling a pop duo's music after one of them was arrested for the possession of MDMA. Like the Yakuza series, it is set in Kamurocho, the fictional city modeled after Kabukicho in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Following the arrest, SEGA issued the following statement concerning the title's availability in Japan: "SEGA has received the arrest reports and are now confirming the facts, but for the time being, we will voluntarily refrain from shipments and digital sales of Judgment, as well as from things like posting on the product's homepage". The company would like to "apologize for any inconvenience caused to our customers and related parties".

Update 1:34 a.m.: The Wall Street Journal reporter Takashi Mochizuki reported on Twitter that Sega is now discussing its course of action regarding the western release of Judgment, and that a decision has not yet been made.

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Video game stories from other sites on the web. The game is scheduled to arrive in America and Europe this June on PS4, but there is no word yet if that's still the plan given the controversy surrounding Taki.

Sega has halted sales of Yakuza spin-off judgement after one of the game's voice actors was arrested for alleged cocaine use. The publisher has even gone as far as to delete its own tweets referencing the game. It has to be heartbreaking for everybody involved with creating, localizing, and promoting the game both inside and outside of Japan. Taki also plays Frozen's Olaf in the Japanese edition of Kingdom Hearts III, so we'll see if Square Enix feel the need to take similar action themselves.

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