Sega stops sales of Judgement in Japan following major actor’s arrest

Sega stops sales of Judgement in Japan following major actor’s arrest

Sega stops sales of Judgement in Japan following major actor’s arrest

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.

Japan has strict drug laws, and possession of cocaine can carry a sentence of up to seven years. Taki not only added his voice and likeness to Judgment, but also did motion capture work for his character, Kyohei Hamura.

As reported by Kotaku, investigators arrested Taki after receiving a tip the actor had been using cocaine, and although a search of his property and vehicle proved fruitless, a urine test eventually came back positive.

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.

"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 the product's homepage", the company said in a statement, as translated by the games website Gematsu. The company would like to "apologize for any inconvenience caused to our customers and related parties".

As soon as we hear more, we'll let you know. When Yakuza 4 was re-released in Japan earlier this year, one of its starring roles was recast/re-recorded entirely after the original actor retired following allegations of cocaine use. Developer Ryu ga Gotoku Studios replaced actor Hiroki Narimiya in Yakuza 4 past year after also faced allegations of cocaine use.

Sega already has seen an issue with drug use in Yakuza games. Publisher SEGA has stated that the Western release, currently due to hit U.S. and Europe in June, is now "under consideration". Newsweek has reached out to Sega for comment, but has yet to recieve as reply. According to Asahi News, Disney plans to replace Taki as Olaf in Frozen 2.

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