Judgment’s Western release unaffected despite actor’s drug arrest

Silver lining, I suppose

Last week in Japan, actor Pierre Taki was arrested on charges of alleged cocaine usage after testing positive for the drug and admitting to using a small amount of it. While this would normally be the end of the story, Taki was one of the main characters in Sega’s Judgment, a spin-off of the Yakuza series made by Ryu Ga Gotoku Studios. Since Japan has incredibly strict drugs laws, the game was removed from Japanese store shelves, digital sales were halted, and the Western release was put in jeopardy after the news broke.

This morning on the official Rya Go Gotoku Studios Twitter account, the company confirmed that Judgment will not be getting delayed in the West. Taki will be scrubbed from the game and the title will hit it’s June 25, 2019 release date. All promotional materials featuring Taki’s likeness have been removed from official Sega channels (though you can still view the English language trailer from Sony’s YouTube account).

Whatever your stance is on this matter, I find it kind of ludicrous that an actor starring in a game about people committing crimes was removed for committing a crime. Taki didn’t even harm anyone and it’s not like other big name actors haven’t done copious amounts of drugs in their day. This is ridiculously similar to the situation with Yakuza 4, just that that title was released in an era before digital distribution was so mainstream. I guess it was easier to cut ties with an actor in 2010 since digital copies weren’t being sold.

I suppose the silver lining here is that we’ll still see Judgment on time. I do wish it was with Taki in tow, though.

RGG Studio [Twitter]

Peter Glagowski
Former Dtoid staff member.