SEGA recently released Yakuza spin-off Judgment into the wild, but the game’s availability has since been halted. Actor and musician Pierre Taki plays the role of Kyohei Hamura, a prominent character in the game, and he was recently arrested by Japanese police for cocaine use. Japan takes the use of illegal drugs extremely seriously, and SEGA has responded by pulling the game off store shelves and digital storefronts.
So what’s next for Judgment? Will the game simply be dead and buried? And what of its planned worldwide release this June? At this time, SEGA is still weighing their options, and they haven’t officially voiced plans.
It’s possible that SEGA will recast the character, recreate the scenes with the new model and voice, and resume selling the game. They took similar steps when Yakuza 4 HD actor Hiroki Narimiya promptly retired after pictures surfaced allegedly showing him using cocaine. Taki is also slated to voice Olaf in the Japanese release of Frozen 2 (as well as Kingdom Hearts 3), and Disney is currently looking to replace him in that role.